Carmelo Anthony

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Wizards, Pistons

Carmelo Anthony doubled down today on his belief that the Knicks should have a broad coaching search, adding as he spoke in an appearance with Frank Isola of the New York Daily News on SiriusXM NBA Radio that team president Phil Jackson hasn’t consulted him for his input on the coaching job. The Knicks reportedly didn’t reach out to Tom Thibodeau, who was apparently Anthony’s preferred choice, and Anthony told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com he thinks Thibodeau would have taken the Knicks job if offered (ESPN Now link).

“I’ve said this and I’ll continue to say it, there needs to be a process,” Anthony said to Isola. “As long as there’s a process and you go through the proper channels to figure out exactly what you need to do, I don’t have no problem with that. But if you don’t go through that process and at least look to see what’s out there, then we have a problem with that.”

See more on the latest ‘Melo drama amid news from the Eastern Conference:

  • Anthony defended the triangle offense when he went on The Dan Patrick Show today, Begley points out (Twitter link), and he said in his SiriusXM spot that his goal is to retire with the Knicks and that he believes in Jackson, as Isola notes in the same piece. Still, Anthony made it clear that he feels he has no choice but to ride with the Zen Master, Isola relays. “I have to. My fate is in his hands,” Anthony said. “I have to believe in him. If I believe that I’m going to be here, I don’t have anybody else to kind of put my fate in.”
  • The Wizards made a strong push to acquire Pelicans stretch four Ryan Anderson via trade at the deadline in February, but Washington didn’t want to give up the first-round pick that ultimately wound up going to Phoenix in the Markieff Morris deal, according to TNT’s David Aldridge. Morris is under contract for three more seasons while Anderson is set to hit free agency this summer.
  • The Pistons will target a big man who can shoot, and backup point guard is a major need, too, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy confirmed in a press conference today that finding a backup point guard will be a priority, notes Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link).

And-Ones: ‘Melo, Batum, Hield

Carmelo Anthony wasn’t at the Knicks triangle seminar this week after all, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, despite an earlier report that he was. Some say the seminar was mandatory and others called it voluntary, Isola hears, adding that one player said team president Phil Jackson only invited a few Knicks. Anthony is believed to be receiving therapy on his left knee, Berman writes, and the triangle sessions were mostly review, a source told the Post scribe, who downplays the significance of ‘Melo’s absence. Still, 10 other Knicks took part, Berman hears, including Kristaps Porzingis, who’s recovering from a shoulder strain and recently had a routine visit at the Hospital for Special Surgery, notes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (ESPN Now link). The other attendees, according to Berman, were Jerian Grant, Cleanthony Early, Langston Galloway, Tony WrotenSasha Vujacic, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn and Kevin Seraphin.

See more from around the NBA:

  • Nicolas Batum isn’t definitively out for the rest of the Hornets‘ first-round series against Miami, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, dispelling an earlier report, but he’s unlikely to return unless it goes at least six games, Bonnell says. Batum is poised for free agency this summer.
  • Indiana freshman small forward OG Anunoby won’t enter this year’s draft, the school announced (Twitter link). He was a late second-round prospect for this year, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who ranks him the 50th, but the 6’8″ 18-year-old has first-round potential for next year, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slots him 20th in his 2017 mock draft. Anunoby saw limited action this season, putting up 4.9 points in 13.7 minutes per game.
  • Long-shot draft prospect Moustapha Diagne will enter this year’s draft, but he’ll do so without an agent so he can retain his college eligibility, a source told Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The 6’8″ 20-year-old from Northwest Florida State, a community college, is a former Syracuse commit, Rothstein notes, and he was 68th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school last year. Neither Ford nor Givony ranks him among the top 100 draft prospects.
  • Top-10 prospect and former Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield has signed with agent Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, a source told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link).

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Atkinson, Larkin

Former Knicks swingman Landry Fields noted that New York could have evolved into an Eastern Conference power if it had waited to sign Carmelo Anthony when he hit free agency rather than gutting the team to acquire him from the Nuggets, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). “It would have been a major, major play for New York if we had kind of the young talent of [Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler] and Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo. It would have been a team that just would have been so impactful throughout the league and one that probably could have created a dynasty,” Fields said. “But I don’t want to speak too much to that because you don’t want to get [into] all of this, ‘Rah rah, what could have been’ because that’s not what happened. There were possibilities there for such an incredible team to be assembled but at the same time, we can’t harp on what never happened.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Jeremy Lin, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, had all positives to say about new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, who was an assistant with the Knicks when “Linsanity” broke out during the 2011/12 season, NetsDaily relays. “I’ve kind of been saying it was just a matter of time for him because I know how good he is, I know how much he was there for me in New York,” Lin said. “When you’re around him, you kind of understand there’s something different about him: his energy, his passion, the juice he approaches his work with. He doesn’t leave any stone unturned. He’s always the first one in, and I’m saying first one in by, like, hours.
  • Nets point guard Shane Larkin, who has a player option for 2016/17 worth $1.5MM, says the coaching change from Lionel Hollins to Tony Brown this season hurt his development, notes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. “It’s tough, especially as a point guard because you’re an extension of the coach on the floor,” Larkin said. “I mean, at the beginning of the year, there were several articles saying, ‘Oh, it’s Larkin’s breakout year, he’s finally found himself, averaging this and that, shooting well from the three.’ I was really comfortable with Coach Hollins. But after 37 games, to be exact, Coach Hollins was out of here and Billy King was released or whatever it was so it was like we didn’t really have a lot of direction. Coach Tony was kind of just handed the job like, ‘All right, here you go.’ It was kind of like, ‘Just like go play basketball.’ It’s just difficult, when I’ve now been with four coaches in three years. It’s definitely easier when you’re with a team for a while and you know what your coach wants and you know what he expects from you. He knows what you can do, he knows the pros and cons to your game and he could put you in a position to be successful.”

Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Blatt, Rambis, ‘Melo

Kristaps Porzingis was largely unknown to Knicks fans a year ago, but his strong rookie year quickly made him a sensation in New York, where a four-minute film called “Porzingod” that takes a playful approach with the hopes and dreams attached to the 20-year-old 7-footer will debut today at the Tribeca Film Festival, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. Such optimism is unlikely to emerge from the draft this year for the Knicks, who have a pick in neither the first nor the second round. See the latest on the blue-and-orange:

  • The Knicks didn’t reach out to former assistant Tom Thibodeau this spring before he took the Timberwolves job on Wednesday, sources told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Knicks president Phil Jackson has spoken with Luke Walton, casually or otherwise, but for now, interim coach Kurt Rambis and David Blatt are the only candidates New York is seriously considering for its coaching vacancy, Begley hears.
  • Blatt’s adaptability is part of what makes him appealing to the Knicks, Berman writes in a separate piece. Jackson, who’s expected to interview the former Cavs coach, has respect for the Princeton offense Blatt has sometimes employed, as Berman previously reported, though one NBA personnel director who’s spoken to the Cavs said Blatt would certainly be willing to run the triangle for the Knicks, according to Berman. Still, Blatt isn’t the favorite, Berman cautions. Berman heard from one scout who suggested that hiring Blatt would torpedo any longshot hope at landing LeBron James, but the same was said about James returning to the Cavs when they hired Blatt two years ago.
  • Carmelo Anthony was among the Knicks in attendance as the Knicks’ triangle seminar began this week, and Jackson played the role of coach for a day as he took the lead in imparting lessons about the offensive system, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Rambis was also involved, which supports the belief that he’ll ultimately have his interim tag removed, Bondy observes. That Jackson organized the event further signals his willingness to stick around for the long haul in the wake of his Thursday declaration that he intends to stay for his whole five-year contract, Berman writes.

Atlantic Notes: Walton, Carmelo, Brown

Knicks team president Phil Jackson took to Twitter this morning to address reports regarding Luke Walton and the Knicks coaching job, writing, “Press accounts of coaching actions are untrue. Nobody has been asked nobody said no.” Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Sunday that the Knicks had interviewed Walton, and while Frank Isola of the New York Daily News confirmed that Jackson and Walton spoke by phone, it would be a stretch to call it an interview, Isola said (Twitter links). Walton told Jackson that he isn’t interested in the job as of now, according to a league source who talked to Isola (Twitter link), but Berman hears the Warriors assistant hasn’t completely ruled out the idea of taking the New York gig. Still, Berman calls Walton “a big long shot” to take the job.

See more on the sought-after Walton amid news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Walton interviewed for the Nets job and pulled out of the running for that before Brooklyn hired Kenny Atkinson on Sunday, league sources told Berman. Walton appears to be leaning toward staying with the Warriors for next season but is nowhere near a decision, one league source said to Berman.
  • Carmelo Anthony is concerned that the Knicks front office and ownership are more focused on simply making the playoffs rather than building a championship-caliber squad, Berman writes in a separate piece. “What’s successful for us?’’ Anthony said. “That’s the question you have to ask ourselves as a whole organization. Not just winning another 15 games like we did this year and playing for the eighth seed. Is that success? Or is being a top seed in the Eastern Conference, a top team in the NBA? Winning a championship is always the ultimate success. We have to put things in perspective. What’s success mean to this organization? A championship for me is always the ultimate success — not us slotting in and barely getting into the eighth seed. That’s not success for me. Having prominence in the postseason. That’s success.’
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is a major fan of Nicolas Batum and would also like to see Philadelphia acquire a stretch four, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, who looks at ways the team with the league’s worst record can improve.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Rambis

Team president Phil Jackson expects free agents to be more open to signing with the Knicks this summer than last offseason because of the team’s increase in wins and the presence of Kristaps Porzingis, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post“We’re talking about a team in the making,” Jackson said.  “We’ve had so many people come up to us and say they really want to play [with] a guy like KP. … So we feel we have an attractive product here.”

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Carmelo Anthony has mixed feelings on the triangle and he believes most players just want to be comfortable in a system, Berman adds in the same piece. Anthony, who has repeatedly expressed his interest in being a part of the Knicks‘ free agent process, believes adding players who fit the system will be a delicate issue this offseason. “I think it’s a fine line going after guys who can fit into the system and going after guys who can just play basketball and can bring a winning attitude to this,” Anthony said.
  • Veteran players on the Knicks lobbied for Jerian Grant and the other younger members of the team to get more playing time earlier in the season, but coach Kurt Rambis and Jackson scoffed at the idea, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Jackson believed that Grant couldn’t contribute to the team’s win total.
  • Rambis finished the season 9-19 since taking over for Derek Fisher and would like an opportunity to build on his time with the Knicks, Bondy writes in a separate piece. “I want to be the head coach here,” Rambis said. “I think we can continue to get better as a ballclub and we can continue to improve, but that’s a decision that’s out of my hands.”

Knicks Notes: Anthony, Thomas, Jackson

Small forward Carmelo Anthony made it clear to the team in his exit interview that it needs to take advantage of the “window that he has” when making personnel moves this offseason, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays. Anthony, who met with team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills on Thursday and said that the trio had a “very honest” conversation about the future of the franchise, Begley notes. “I think that’s the main question,” Anthony said. “How can we take advantage of this window? How can we take advantage of this situation that we have in front of us?”

What is successful for us as the New York Knicks?” Anthony continued. “I think that is kind of the question that we have to ask ourselves as a whole organization. … Getting back and being in the postseason, that’s success for me. And not just sliding in and barely getting into the eighth seed. That is not success for me. Being in there, having some type of prominence, having a chance to compete to the next round and move further, that is success for me.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Jackson noted that he would interview interim coach Kurt Rambis for the team’s head coaching slot, but added that he also intends to speak with other candidates with whom he has a relationship, the ESPN scribe relays in the same piece. “People I probably know will be in the interview process,” Jackson said. “I will reach out to make connections to some people. But I’ve been in this position, in the NBA, over 50 years. And I’ve seen a lot of situations where coaches end up coming in without [being] simpatico with the general manager, and those things don’t work well. So someone who has compatibility with what I do as a leader would have to be in sync with what we do.
  • Anthony, who has intimated that he wants to be involved in the team’s offseason decisions, noted that he wants a wide-ranging search for the next coach, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays (Twitter links). The small forward added that no discussion has taken place about him waiving his no-trade clause this summer so the team can deal him.
  • Jackson scoffed at the notion the Knicks would abandon the triangle offense and mentioned his past success with the system, saying, “Who are these people? [who criticize the offense]  Do they have 11 championships?,” Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News relays (Twitter links). For his part, Anthony said that team management should consider all coaches in its search, not just those who are familiar with the triangle, Al Iannazzone of Newsday tweets.
  • Power forward Kristaps Porzingis isn’t pleased with how his rookie season went, but referred to it as a good learning experience, writes George Willis of The New York Post. “We didn’t do as good as we could have,” Porzingis said. “Our team was talented enough to make the playoffs, and we didn’t do that. There were a lot of things we could have done much better. It’s going to be a good learning experience for me. Now I know what to expect going into my second season.
  • The Knicks hope to re-sign Lance Thomas this offseason, but the combo forward is in line for a raise from the $1,636,842 he earned in 2015/16, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. League sources tell the Post scribe that Thomas could warrant a mid-level contract starting in the range of $4.5MM per season.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Rambis, Anthony, Dolan

Knicks president Phil Jackson will consider other coaching candidates beyond Kurt Rambis, but only if he knows them well and they believe in the triangle offense, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jackson said the coaching search could stretch through July, presumably to see if Golden State assistant Luke Walton would be interested. Jackson admitted the Knicks “came apart at the end of the season,’’ finishing 9-19 after Rambis took over, but he added that the interim coach will get an interview. Berman lists Brian Shaw, Bill CartwrightRick Fox and Scott Brooks as others likely to be interviewed. Jackson may also take the recommendation of GM Steve Mills and talk to former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

Ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau may be left off that list, as Jackson is devoted to the triangle and lashed out at critics of the approach. “That’s what I was brought here for — to install a system,’’ he said. “That’s all part of the package. Who are these people? Do they have 11 championships to talk about?”

There’s more postseason news from New York:

  • Jackson would like to bring free agents Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas back next season, Berman tweets. That also applies to Derrick Williams if he doesn’t decide to opt out of his $4.598MM deal.
  • There has been speculation about Carmelo Anthony forcing his way out of New York if the Knicks don’t have a productive summer in free agency, and the veteran forward said again today that his greatest desire is to win, tweets Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. “I’ve thought about [playing somewhere else],” said Anthony, who could waive his no-trade clause and demand to be dealt elsewhere. “Only thing I think about is winning more, whether it’s here or somewhere else.” (Twitter link).
  • The coaching decision will be vital to Anthony and owner James Dolan, according to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Isola calls on Dolan to order a meeting with Anthony and Jackson where they can discuss their vision of the next coach. The columnist also urges Jackson to give up on the triangle and adjust to “the modern NBA,” which includes interviewing Thibodeau, Blatt, Brooks, Mark Jackson and Patrick Ewing.

Coaching Rumors: Scott, Thibodeau, Kidd, Brooks

A strong belief exists within the Lakers organization that the team will keep Byron Scott, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, nonetheless revealing that next season is a team option on Scott’s contract. Still, too much discord exists within Lakers ownership for a consensus to form on a coaching change, sources tell Wojnarowski. Primary owner Jeanie Buss is advocating for Scott behind the scenes, and Scott has a “major chance” to remain in his job, one source told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

See more coaching rumors around the NBA with the regular season having come to a close:

  • Carmelo Anthony would prefer the Knicks hire Tom Thibodeau as coach, a source close to Anthony insisted to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Team president Phil Jackson doesn’t seem to have any interest in Thibodeau, as Isola points out, and strong indications exist that Thibodeau is looking for player personnel power as he seeks a coaching job, sources tell Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry publicly backed coach Jason Kidd on Wednesday in the wake of rumors that Kidd is on shaky ground with the team, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays. Lasry said it’s reasonable to assume the team will give Kidd an extension on the three-year, $15MM contract that expires after next season, Gardner notes. Lasry has long been close to Kidd, and it’s the other owners to whom Kidd hasn’t endeared himself, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times wrote this week, but Gardner indicates that fellow primary owners Wesley Edens and Jamie Dinan made it clear Wednesday that they also want Kidd to stay. “At the end of the day, Jason is our coach,” Lasry said. “I know there’s been a bunch of articles. We think he’s done a great job. He’s our guy. Everybody who keeps talking about it, it’s a non-issue. I never understand why in this league you have these issues.”
  • Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff and Nets interim coach Tony Brown are unlikely to have their interim tags removed, barring unforeseen events, according to Berger. Rockets candidate Scott Brooks is wary of the uncertainty about whether Dwight Howard will opt out, Berger writes, which suggests that it’s not an open-and-shut case that Howard will opt out as he’s long been expected to do.

Knicks Notes: Afflalo, Calderon, Anthony

Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo says his desire to be a starter will influence his decision regarding his player option for 2016/17 worth $8MM, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). “I still believe I’m one of the premier two guards in this league and part of being an elite two guard in this league is opportunity,” Afflalo said. “You have to be in a certain environment where you can excel and show what you can do and hopefully that contributes to winning. And I still believe I’m that player, so I’ll find the best opportunity for me, whether it’s in New York or anywhere else.” The dynamic between Afflalo and the team has been the subject of close scrutiny since interim coach Kurt Rambis‘ decision to use the shooting guard in a bench role and their odd disagreement over the basic issue of whether they had a conversation about it.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Afflalo indicated that he’s looking for one more big contract in his career and reiterated that he views himself as a starter, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “I’ve been through so much in my career in terms of the opinions of how your game fits in certain situations and what can you do?” Afflalo told reporters. “What can you do outside of when you’re in a chance to put yourself in position, you make the move that’s necessary?
  • Veteran point guard Jose Calderon has no issue with accepting a bench role for the Knicks next season, Bondy notes in the same piece. “I’m a team player, and if it’s better for the team, its great, I got no problem with that,” Calderon said. “I know my role, I know my weaknesses. That’s not going to be a problem with me. The organization should not be thinking that they have to start Jose.” New York is instead reportedly thinking about using the stretch provision to part ways with Calderon this summer.
  • Carmelo Anthony plans to be heard by the Knicks front office during his exit interview and wants to be involved in New York’s offseason decision-making process, Bondy writes in a separate piece. “My conversation with them is to be open and honest about what’s going on, about transparency, how we can make this situation better and what we’re going to do to make this situation better,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, nobody loves this feeling, nobody wants to lose. We work too hard as players to be in this situation right now. Even though we almost doubled our wins from last year, we made some strides in certain areas. But now we got to continue to build on that.
  • Anthony expects some clarity regarding the Knicks’ future when he sits down with team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills, Begley relays in a full-length piece. When asked what he hopes to garner from his discussions, Anthony said, “Just an understanding of kind of a plan, a plan of action of what they’re trying to do, what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to accomplish here. I don’t really have — I think everybody knows my questions that I have. So it’s just a matter of them kind of being transparent with me. We talk. We have an open dialogue, an open conversation, about how we all can get better at this situation moving forward, what I can do to kind of help and kind of fill the holes that we need to fill at this point.
  • The small forward also noted that he is well aware of the players who are hitting the free agent market this summer and the Knicks’ place in that market, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “Free agency is always going to be big for everybody,” Anthony said. “I looked at the list. I look at the list every day. Whether it’s for me or other teams, I want to see what other guys are thinking about as far as trying to better their team. Where we fit in the free agency market, those are things I pay close attention to.

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