Carmelo Anthony Rumors

And-Ones: Melo, Thompson, Lee, Lowry

August 21 at 10:43pm CDT By Alex Lee

Speaking at a charity event on Thursday night at the Barclays Center, Carmelo Anthony indicated he’s that he was close to leaving the Knicks this offseason, writes Ian Begley of ESPN New York. Melo did add that he’s optimistic about the new-look roster built under Phil Jackson‘s direction, though he acknowledged that the Eastern Conference improved this summer.

Here are some other notes from around the league:

  • Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report cites a source close to Klay Thompson that says the Warriors‘ guard is angry that he was dangled as trade bait for Kevin Love over the summer. In his piece, Bucher examines the idea that Golden State alienated Thompson and David Lee, though he was unable reach Lee or sources close to him.
  • Looking towards the 2014/15 version of the Raptors, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders likens Kyle Lowry to Rajon Rondo, comparing the the four-year, $48MM deal that Lowry signed with Toronto this summer to the five-year, $55MM deal that Rondo inked in 2009. The common thread, Hamilton writes, is that both lucrative pacts, while based off small samples, were awarded to point guards that had the potential to justify them.

And-Ones: Monroe, Carmelo, Lakers

August 18 at 9:30pm CDT By Zach Links

New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer won fans over in his introduction earlier today, writes Eric Kelsey of Reuters.  “I think it’s going to be a great change, a positive change,” said Clippers fan Teri Renty. “It’s something we desperately needed, and it will really be great for the team in giving them the energy and the momentum to look forward to good things.”  More from around the NBA..

  • Greg Monroe is maximizing the limited leverage he has in his contract situation with the Pistons, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post. The only leverage that Monroe possesses is to sign the team’s qualifying offer prior to the October 1st deadline, and then take control of his own destiny next year without the restrictions he faces now, notes Lee.
  • Carmelo Anthony, who re-signed with the Knicks on a lucrative deal this summer, is “sure” his team is headed to the playoffs, writes Fred Kerber of the New York Post.  Anthony went on to say that he’s happy with the moves the Knicks have made this offseason, though he declined to “get into details about that.”  He added that he hasn’t talked much with team president Phil Jackson since inking his new contract.
  • The Lakers are expected to add Jim Eyen as an assistant coach to Byron Scott‘s staff, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). Eyen was most recently an assistant with the Kings.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Knicks Notes: Fisher, Cleamons, Anthony

August 18 at 7:35pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Carmelo Anthony‘s former college coach, Jim Boeheim, believes that if ‘Melo had based his free agency decision purely on basketball reasons, then the Bulls would have been a better destination than the Knicks, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Boeheim said, “Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they’ve got better players. But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that’s a great thing.”

Here’s more from New York:

  • Boeheim also believes that Anthony would have left if Phil Jackson hadn’t taken over as team president. Boeheim said, “I would think so. He stayed because he believes Phil. Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good.”
  • The Knicks are adding Jim Cleamons to Derek Fisher‘s coaching staff, reports Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Cleamons had coached Fisher during his two stints as a Lakers assistant, and will help teach the Knicks players the triangle offense, notes Iannazzone.
  • With a new head coach, and the team installing the triangle offense, it’s not clear what starting lineup the Knicks will take to the court with. In a separate article, Begley examines some of the possible combinations that New York could utilize.

And-Ones: Anthony, Denmon, Wizards

August 16 at 12:27pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Carmelo Anthony has elected to take half of his $22.5MM salary this season up front, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Because his five-year, $124MM contract is structured similarly for future seasons, Anthony will receive a total of $62MM up front over the course of his deal, notes Berman. This won’t have any bearing on the Knicks‘ salary cap, but likely is among the largest immediate payouts in NBA history, Berman points out. League rules stipulate the maximum allowable advance is 50 percent of a player’s annual salary.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Marcus Denmon has signed with Enel Brindisi of the Italian League, the team announced via their Facebook page (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). Denmon was a former second round pick of the Spurs. Enel Brindisi signed him after negotiations with Orlando Johnson fell through, notes Trapani.
  • 34 players in the NBA currently have trade kickers in their contracts, and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders runs down the list.
  • Although other teams have made more noise this summer, one team that has quietly improved itself is the Wizards, writes Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders. In the article, Camerato looks at the additions the team has made, and the impact they could have on Washington’s season.

Trade Retrospective: Carmelo Anthony To Knicks

August 16 at 9:16am CDT By Eddie Scarito

There are only eight more days until Andrew Wiggins can officially be traded, and Kevin Love can put on a Cavaliers jersey, which would complete the biggest trade of the summer. But the trade doesn’t guarantee that Cleveland will hoist a Championship banner next year, or that the Timberwolves will break their string of missing the playoffs.

I’ve been taking a look back at past blockbuster deals, and how they worked out for both sides involved. So far I’ve recapped the deals that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; and Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Next on the docket is the February of 2011 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.

Anthony pushed for the trade during the 2010/11 season primarily because of the new CBA in the works that would reduce the maximum contract amount he would be able to re-sign for. With the labor agreement ending June 30th, 2011, and uncertainty surrounding what the next pact would look like, it was in Anthony’s best financial interests to sign an extension as part of an extend-and-trade transaction with the Knicks rather than wait for free agency.

The cuts didn’t end up being quite as harsh as the players had feared. As part of the trade, Anthony signed a three-year, $65MM extension with the Knicks. The maximum amount he could have signed for under the new CBA as a free agent would have been approximately $58MM. The first-year salary would have still allowed for a maximum of 105% of his prior salary. It was after that first year, where the annual increases dropped under the new agreement, going from the previous CBA’s 8% maximum increase, down to 4.5%. It’s worth noting that since Anthony opted out of his contract’s final year, he only gained roughly $3MM over the course of that deal than if he would have simply signed with New York as a free agent.

The trade involved New York, the Nuggets, and the Timberwolves. Let’s begin by recapping the pieces involved.

  1. The Knicks received Anthony; Renaldo Balkman; Chauncey Billups; Anthony Carter; and Shelden Williams from Denver. They also received Corey Brewer from Minnesota.
  2. The Timberwolves received Eddy Curry; Anthony Randolph; and $3MM from New York. They also received a 2015 second-rounder from Denver.
  3. The Nuggets received Danilo Gallinari; Wilson Chandler; Raymond Felton; Timofey Mozgov; the right to swap first-round picks in 2016; a 2014 first-rounder (No. 12 overall); a 2012 second-round pick (Quincy Miller); a 2013 second-round pick (via Golden State); and $3MM cash from the Knicks. Denver also received Kosta Koufos from Minnesota.

For the Knicks the big prize was obviously Anthony. Team owner James Dolan had been seeking a big name player, but had struck out in trying to lure LeBron James to New York the prior year, and the team had to settle for Amar’e Stoudemire instead. Dolan’s biggest fear was that Anthony could end up with the rival Nets, which would have been a blow to his ego, as well as threaten the Knicks’ position as the No. 1 team in New York.

The knock on ‘Melo has always been the same: he’s a ball-stopper who doesn’t make the players around him better. He had also led the Nuggets out of the first round of the playoffs just once (2008/09) during his tenure in Denver. Anthony may have broken the first-round curse of the Knicks back in 2012/13, but the criticisms still remain.

Anthony has been a stat-sheet filler for the Knicks during his time in New York. Here are his numbers by season since the trade:

  1. 2010/11: In the final 27 games after the trade, he averaged 26.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG.
  2. 2011/12: 22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 3.6 APG. His slash line was .430/.335/.804.
  3. 2012/13: 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.6 APG. His slash line was .449/.379/.830.
  4. 2013/14: 27.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG. His slash line was .452/.402/.848.

If you look at the trade based on Anthony’s statistical production, then it’s hard to argue that the deal was a failure. The Knicks hadn’t made the playoffs since the 2003/04 campaign, and their record since that year leading up to the Anthony acquisition was 173-319. Since the deal, the Knicks have made the playoffs three of the four seasons ‘Melo has been with the franchise. Their record during this stretch is 169-143.

As the team’s star player, Anthony gets a lot of heat for the Knicks’ failure to advance past the second round. I personally feel that while Anthony isn’t necessarily the problem, he hasn’t been the solution either. The front office hasn’t been able to pair him with the right group of players who maximize his talents and hide his deficiencies. The team has also suffered from poor point guard play throughout Anthony’s tenure, which is a major reason for the team’s disappointments.

But Anthony hasn’t been able to elevate those around him either. LeBron had less talent around him during his first stint in Cleveland, yet he was able to make it to the NBA Finals, losing to the Spurs in 2007. The Knicks and their fans had better hope that the triangle offense and arrival of Jose Calderon will help Anthony take his play to the next level, seeing as he isn’t leaving anytime soon. Anthony recently re-signed with the team for five years and $124MM.

Renaldo Balkman was originally drafted by the Knicks back in 2006. He was traded to the Nuggets in 2008, in what was essentially a salary dump. His second stint in New York lasted all of 17 games, where he averaged 2.0 PPG, in parts of two seasons. Balkman was released on February 17, 2012, to make room on the roster for J.R. Smith, who was signed as a free agent after playing in China. Balkman hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since. His only claim to fame since leaving the NBA was an incident where he choked a teammate during a game in the Philippines.

Chauncey Billups was a good pickup for the Knicks. At the time of the trade, he was averaging 16.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 5.3 APG. He finished out the season strong for New York, putting up 17.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 5.5 APG. But in December of that year the Knicks used the Amnesty Provision to waive Billups in order to clear enough cap space to sign free agent Tyson Chandler. Some would argue, myself included, that New York would have been better served in the long run to have amnestied Stoudemire instead.

The Clippers claimed Billups off of waivers for the bargain price of $2MM, leaving the Knicks on the hook for the remaining $12.2MM the player was owed for that season. Billups provided Los Angeles with 15.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG that year.

Anthony Carter was essentially a throw-in, and finished the season with the Knicks, averaging 4.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 2.3 APG. Carter became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Raptors. He appeared in 24 contests, averaging 2.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG. He was waived by Toronto on March 15, 2012. He hasn’t played in an NBA game since, and is now an assistant coach in the NBA D-League.

Shelden Williams appeared in 17 games for New York, averaging 3.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG. The Knicks didn’t re-sign him at the end of the 2010/11 season. Williams then signed a one-year deal with the Nets, and appeared in 58 games for New Jersey, averaging 4.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG. That was Williams’ last season in the NBA, and he last saw action over in China.

Corey Brewer was waived by the Knicks without ever appearing in a game for them.  Two days later, once Brewer cleared waivers, he signed a three-year, $8MM deal with the Mavericks. Brewer was part of Dallas’ championship team that season, averaging 5.3 PPG and 1.8 RPG. He was then traded that December to the Nuggets along with Rudy Fernandez in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick.

Brewer played well for Denver, averaging 8.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 2011/12, and 12.1 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 2012/13. He then left Denver as a free agent, signing a three-year, $15MM contract to return to the Wolves. Brewer averaged 12.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG last year for Minnesota.

Minnesota was involved to help the Knicks make the salaries work for matching purposes. They took on Eddy Curry‘s expiring deal, and they bought out his contract without him ever playing a game for them.  Curry signed with the Heat in December of 2011, appearing in 14 games, averaging 2.1 PPG that year.

Anthony Randolph was supposed to be a big part of New York’s future when he was acquired as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent David Lee to the Warriors. But he remained buried on the Knicks’ bench, averaging 2.1 PPG and 2.4 RPG, in just 7.1 minutes a night. He fared slightly better after the trade, averaging 7.4 PPG and 3.6 PPG to finish out the year.

After the season, Randolph left Minnesota and signed a three-year, $6MM deal with the Nuggets. He didn’t log many minutes in Denver either, averaging 4.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG in his two seasons with the Nuggets. He was then traded during the 2014 NBA Draft in the deal that sent the rights to Doug McDermott to the Bulls, and netted Denver the rights to Gary Harris.

This brings us to the Nuggets, and how they have fared since the trade. In Anthony’s eight seasons in Denver, the team’s cumulative record was 388-268. Since the trade, they have gone 131-99, with two playoff appearances, losing both series in the first round. Injuries have certainly taken their toll, and they’re the main reason the team missed the playoffs last year.

The centerpiece of the trade from Denver’s side, was Danilo Gallinari. The Nuggets were hoping that he could replace Anthony as the team’s primary scorer, and they were banking on his potential to make the trade work in their favor.  It hasn’t quite worked out that way as injuries have mounted. He missed half of the 2011/12 season and the entire 2013/14 season.

Gallinari’s numbers in Denver are:

  1. 2010/11: 14.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .412/.370/.772.
  2. 2011/12: 14.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.7 APG. His slash line was .414/.328/.871.
  3. 2012/13: 16.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.5 APG. His slash line was .418/.373/.822.
  4. 2013/14: Missed entire season.

It remains to be seen how Gallinari will fare this coming season, but it’s hard to count on him as a cornerstone thanks to his injury history. He originally came into the league with a history of back problems, which slowed him his first season in New York. Denver better hope he can return to form, seeing as they signed him to a four-year, $42MM extension in January of 2012.

Wilson Chandler was the other significant piece the Nuggets acquired, and he has also been bitten by the injury bug during his time in Denver. He missed half of the 2011/12 season when he signed with a team in China during the NBA lockout. Since Chandler didn’t have an out-clause in his contract, he couldn’t return to the NBA until after the Chinese playoffs ended. Once he was permitted to return to the NBA, he signed a five-year, $37MM deal with the Nuggets, but Chandler only appeared in eight games that season before suffering a labral tear in his left hip.

Chandler’s numbers since arriving in Denver are:

  1. 2010/11: 12.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .419/.347/.810.
  2. 2011/12: 9.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG. His slash line was .392/.250/.833.
  3. 2012/13: 13.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.3 APG. His slash line was .462/.413/.793.
  4. 2013/14: 13.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .416/.348/.724.

Prior to the trade, Raymond Felton was enjoying a strong first season in New York, thriving under then-coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system. In 54 games, Felton averaged 17.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 9.0 APG.

Once he arrived in Denver, Felton was relegated to backing up Ty Lawson, which didn’t sit well with Felton. After the season he requested a trade, and was dealt as part of a three team trade with Dallas and Portland during the 2011 NBA Draft. In return the Nuggets received Andre Miller and the rights to the No. 26 pick Jordan Hamilton.

Miller played well during his 2+ seasons in Denver, averaging 8.4 PPG and 5.3 APG. He was dealt to the Wizards last season after a falling out with coach Brian Shaw over his playing time.

Hamilton was also dealt last season, being sent to the Rockets in exchange for Aaron Brooks. During his time in Denver, Hamilton averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.7 RPG. Brooks played well after he trade, appearing in 29 games, and putting up 11.9 PPG and 5.2 APG. Brooks signed a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Bulls this summer.

Felton hasn’t enjoyed the same success that he did under D’Antoni. His one season in Portland was marred by Felton arriving out-of-shape after the lockout ended, and he averaged 11.4 PPG and 6.5 APG during the 2011/12 season.

That was Felton’s only season in Rip City. He was sent back to the Knicks in a sign-and-trade deal along with Kurt Thomas in exchange for Jared Jeffries; Dan GadzuricKostas PapanikolaouGeorgios Printezis; and a 2016 second round pick. Felton’s new deal with New York was for four years and $14.86MM with a fourth-year player option.

Felton’s second stint in New York came to an end when he was dealt along with Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks in exchange for Jose Calderon; Samuel Dalembert; Wayne Ellington; Shane Larkin; and the No. 34 (Cleanthony Early) and No. 51 (Thanasis Antetikounmpo) picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Nuggets used the 2012 second-rounder they obtained in the Anthony trade to select Quincy Miller at No. 38. Miller hasn’t done much to impress in his short career, averaging 3.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in two seasons.

The 2013 second-round pick they obtained was sent to the Magic as part of the Dwight Howard to the Lakers trade, which was then used to select Romero Osby. The 2014 first rounder Denver received from the Knicks was also packaged in this deal, which the Magic later used as part of the 2014 draft-night swap that netted Orlando the rights to Elfrid Payton.

As a part of the Howard deal, the Nuggets received Andre Iguodala, who averaged 13.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.4 APG in his one season in Denver. Iguodala was shipped to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade after the 2012/13 season for Randy Foye. Foye had a decent season last year, averaging 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG for the Nuggets.

The final player that Denver received from the Knicks was the one who almost scuttled the deal, Timofey Mozgov. The talks almost broke down when New York was adamant at first about not including the 7’1″ center. Mozgov has always been viewed as a player with upside, but he has never quite realized that potential. Mozgov did have his best season as a pro last year, averaging 9.4 PPG and 6.4 RPG. He is 28 years old though, and he may have already reached his peak as a player.

The Nuggets also received Kosta Koufos from the Wolves in the deal. In his two seasons in Denver, Koufos averaged 6.8 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He signed a three-year, $9MM extension on January 25, 2012, but was traded last June to the Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur and the rights to the No. 55 Joffrey Lauvergne. During the 2013/14 season with Denver, Arthur averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.1 RPG.

The Anthony trade hasn’t quite worked out for either side like they had hoped. ‘Melo has put up fantastic individual numbers in New York, but the sheer amount of assets the franchise gave up to acquire him surely set them back. It could set New York back even further depending on how the draft picks work out in 2016 since Denver has the right to switch places with the Knicks.

For the Nuggets, the team played better after Anthony departed, making up for the loss of their star by having exceptional depth and athleticism on their roster. But injuries have certainly taken their toll, with both Gallinari and Chandler missing significant time.

Looking back at this trade, I’d have to call it a draw. New York got the best player in the deal, but Anthony hasn’t been able to improve the franchise’s fortunes yet. He just turned 30, and the near-max contract he just signed will limit the Knicks’ future options in constructing a winning roster around him before he hits his decline phase.

The Nuggets’ depth has translated into wins when everyone was healthy, but it’s rare in this league to win a championship without at least one star player on the roster, an asset the Nuggets do not currently possess. If they can remain injury-free, they should be a playoff team next season, but it’s doubtful that they can overtake the upper-echelon teams in the brutal Western Conference.

Kevin Love certainly shares some comparisons with Anthony, seeing as he also takes heat for not making those around him better, as well as being a poor defender. The big difference though is Anthony didn’t join a team with players of LeBron or Kyrie Irving‘s talent level. Time will tell if Love can silence his critics, which ‘Melo is still trying to do.

Derrick Rose On Bulls, Gasol, Carmelo

August 14 at 10:59pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Bulls star Derrick Rose looks well and confident about his upcoming return to NBA action this season after a long recovery from knee surgery, observes Sam Smith of NBA.com. In addition to saying that he has no fears and has developed into a more controlled player, the one-time MVP shared his thoughts on the upcoming season and some of the player movement this summer. You can find a handful of the highlights from the above piece below:

On the Bulls roster for 2014/15:

“I think we have a solid team. We’re definitely contenders in the East. But we know it’s a long year and we have to gel pretty quickly, knowing that we’re not going overseas like we did at the beginning of the season with Brazil like we did last year. I think we’re going (staying here) so we get a lot of time here to really go at it in training camp.”

On the team’s highly-touted free agent signing, Pau Gasol:

“We needed him. Pau (adds) another dimension to our team that we didn’t have and I think I never had since I’ve been in the NBA. I think (Taj Gibson) did a great job last year (being) a low post presence. But with (Pau) being seven feet (and) (Joakim Noah) with Taj on the other side cleaning up everything else, I think that we just need shooting and just one other playmaker. But I think we have that.”

On losing out on Carmelo Anthony in free agency:

“I always say when a player like Carmelo doesn’t sign with you, of course you’re going to be kind of devastated. But at the same time, the world (doesn’t) end and basketball (doesn’t) end just because someone doesn’t come to your team. I think (Bulls management) did a great job with pursuing Pau. And we got it done.”

On LeBron James heading back to the Central Division:

 “ (I feel the) same way I would if anyone else was in my division. Just because it’s him it’s not going to get me to play even harder. I know that every night that I step on the floor, I’m going to do whatever it takes to win the game no matter who is on the floor. Just knowing how great he is and the game, I hope the fans appreciate the game even more.”

On Kevin Love likely being traded to Cleveland:

“(That’d be a) great move (to get) a player like KLove. He’s very, very skilled (for) a big. I work out with him every summer. I didn’t work out with him this summer. But every summer I’ve been in the league, I’ve worked out with him in the offseason. If he does go (to the Cavs), I’m just happy he gets an opportunity to go somewhere and actually play and feel good about playing to win. I think that he deserves it. I think they should have a great team if he was to go there.”

Trade Retrospective: Deron Williams To Nets

August 9 at 12:18pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The soon-to-be blockbuster trade that will send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first-rounder, is just awaiting the 30-day moratorium from the date that Wiggins signed his contract to pass before the trade can become official. While the Timberwolves have no choice but to trade their star player, lest they risk losing him in free agency for nothing after the season, there is always a danger in dealing away a player of Love’s talent.

I’ve begun looking back at past trades involving big name superstars being dealt, and the results of these deals for all parties involved. Previously I had examined the four-team trade which sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers, and the outcomes for all the teams involved turned out to be less than stellar.

The next trade that I’ll be looking back at is the February 2011 deal that sent Deron Williams from the Jazz to the Nets. Let’s first recap the pieces that changed hands:

  1. The Nets received Williams.
  2. The Jazz received Derrick Favors; Devin Harris; a 2011 first-round pick (used to select Enes Kanter); a 2013 first-round pick (which was later traded along with Utah’s No. 14 overall pick for the rights to Trey Burke); and $3MM.

Note: The Nets also traded forward Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round pick to the Warriors for center Dan Gadzuric and forward Brandan Wright the same day. This deal was announced at the same time, but wasn’t part of the Jazz-Nets transaction.

This deal came together after Williams had expressed his displeasure with playing in Utah, and his season-long friction with then coach Jerry Sloan, which had a direct influence on Sloan resigning from his long-time position with the team. The Nets made this deal after being unsuccessful in their numerous attempts to land Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets, who forced his way into being traded to the Knicks instead.

From the Nets’ perspective, it would be safe to say that this trade hasn’t quite worked out for the franchise as planned. Williams has been hobbled by injuries for much of his time in New Jersey/Brooklyn, and his production hasn’t quite been worth the assets surrendered, nor the subsequent 5-year, $98MM extension he signed with the team in July of 2012.

Let’s look at Williams’ numbers since joining the Nets:

  1. In 2011/12, Williams averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 8.7 APG. He appeared in 55 games that year, and his slash line was .407/.336/.843.
  2. In 2012/13, he appeared in 78 games, averaging 18.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 7.7 APG. His slash line was .440/.378/.859.
  3. In 2013/14, Williams played in 64 contests, putting up 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 6.1 APG. His shooting numbers were .450/.366/.801.

His numbers the first two seasons were very respectable, but arguably not in line with the level of his contract, nor the perception of him being a franchise player. Injuries have had much to do with this, and he underwent surgery this May on both of his ankles. Both the Nets and Williams hope this will alleviate the pain he was forced to play through, and perhaps help him regain some of the explosiveness that he has lost since his days in Utah. Williams still has three years and $63.1MM remaining on his contract, so Brooklyn certainly hopes it helps.

From Utah’s perspective, the trade looks better every time Williams hobbles up and down the court, and I’m sure they’re happy not having to pay max-level money for his decline years. But the deal hasn’t helped them advance in the standings. Since dealing Williams, the Jazz have gone 104-126, and have made it to the postseason just once, and were ousted in the first round by the Spurs that year. During the same time period, Brooklyn sits at an even 115-115, with two playoff appearances.

As for the players they received in return, the results have been mixed. Both Favors and Kanter have improved with each season, and have the potential to anchor a productive frontcourt for years to come. But neither player has performed at an All-Star level. Let’s look at their numbers since arriving in Utah.

Favors:

  1. During the 2011/12 season, Favors averaged 8.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.0 BPG. His slash line was .499/.000/.649.
  2. In 2012/13 he averaged 9.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.7 BPG, while shooting .482/.000/.688.
  3. Last season, Favors put up 13.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 1.5 BPG. His slash line was .522/.000/.669.

Kanter:

  1. Back in 2011/12, as a rookie he put up 4.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 0.3 BPG. His slash line was .496/.000/.667.
  2. During the 2012/13 campaign, Kanter provided 7.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 0.5 BPG. His shooting numbers were .544/1.000/.795.
  3. Last year’s numbers were 12.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 0.5 BPG. Kanter’s slash line was .491/.000/.730.

Harris played one full season in Utah, and averaged 11.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 5.0 APG. He was then traded during the offseason to the Hawks for forward Marvin Williams. Williams was a productive rotation piece for the Jazz, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.6 RPG during the 2012/13 season, and 9.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG last year. Williams signed a two-year, $14MM deal with the Hornets this offseason.

The last piece of the deal for the Jazz was the 2013 first-rounder they received, which ended up being the No. 21 overall pick. Utah packaged that selection along with their own first-rounder (No. 14) in a draft night trade with the Timberwolves. The Jazz received the rights to point guard Trey Burke, whom Minnesota had taken 9th overall.

The Wolves used those selections to take Shabazz Muhammad (No. 14) and Gorgui Dieng (No. 21). Nether of those players have set the league on fire, but Dieng has showed flashes of potential and could become a productive rotation player in Minnesota. Muhammad has been a bust thus far, displaying maturity issues, and his offensive game hasn’t developed as hoped.

Burke has easily been the most productive player involved in that deal. In his rookie season, he averaged 12.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 5.7 APG. His slash line was .380/.330/.903. Burke’s shooting was abysmal, but he displayed some improvement towards the end of the season. He also brings a number of intangibles to the table, which can’t be discounted. He is a high-character player, who outperforms his athletic ability.

His role as a starter could be in jeopardy though, seeing as the Jazz picked Dante Exum with the 5th overall selection in this year’s draft. Exum will likely begin his career as a shooting guard, pairing with Burke in the backcourt, but Exum views himself as a point guard, and if he develops quickly, could push Burke into a role off the bench.

As with the Howard trade, this is another example of neither franchise “winning” the deal. If Williams had remained healthy, and put up similar numbers to his days in Utah, then the Nets would have come out on top. A star player in the NBA is worth far more than a number of good rotation pieces.

But in light of Williams’ injury issues, and him being unlikely to regain his past explosiveness at the age of 30, coupled with his enormous contract and resulting cap hit, Utah did reasonably well here. Kanter and Favors could anchor a solid, if unspectacular frontcourt for the next few seasons, and if Burke can improve his outside shooting and keep Exum at shooting guard, then this trade will look much better from the Jazz’s perspective.

That’s a lot of ifs, and it only serves to illustrate the risks involved when franchises deal away their star players. Like the Jazz had with Williams, Minnesota has very little choice but to deal away Love, lest they risk getting nothing to show for their troubles. But while they might acquire some pieces that can help, even acquiring a player of Wiggins’ potential doesn’t mean they’ll be selling playoff tickets any time soon.

Heat Notes: LeBron, ‘Melo, 2016, Allen

July 31 at 10:10am CDT By Chuck Myron

Heat team president Pat Riley went after free agents this year with the idea that LeBron James would return to the team, and he sold potential signees on that notion, as he told reporters, including Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Still, Riley said James didn’t answer frequent emails and texts that he sent in an effort to recruit him back to Miami, Jackson notes. That suggests that the only communication between the two took place when James met with Riley a few days before he made his decision to sign with the Cavs, as Jackson details. We rounded up several key passages from Riley’s address on Wednesday, and we’ll pass along other noteworthy tidbits here among the latest Heat-related news:

  • Riley called Leon Rose, the agent for Carmelo Anthony, after LeBron left, but, “We were a little bit late to that party,” Riley said, as Jackson writes in the same piece. Anthony had already finished meeting with other teams, and he made his decision to re-sign with the Knicks the day after LeBron made his choice.
  • The team will be focused on making a splash in free agency in 2016, Riley said, adding that it would have been the plan even if LeBron had remained, according to Jackson.
  • Riley said the Heat will keep Justin Hamilton through Friday, when his non-guaranteed contract becomes partially guaranteed for more than $400K, as Jackson notes.
  • Miami hasn’t given up hope of re-signing free agent Ray Allentweets Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. Riley said he’s remained in contact with Allen’s agent, Jim Tanner, Jackson writes.
  • Riley confirmed that Miami has spoken with Michael Beasley‘s people about re-signing with the team, Lieser tweets. “He’s still a consideration, absolutely,” Riley said. Beasley reportedly auditioned for the Lakers on Wednesday.
  • The team is also still thinking about re-signing Greg Oden, Riley added, as Jackson notes. Jackson reported last week that the Heat were non-committal about bringing back Beasley and Oden.
  • Guard Tyler Johnson impressed during a summer league stint with the Heat and is drawing interest from multiple NBA teams, a source tells Hoops Rumors.

Central Notes: Rose, Van Gundy, Waiters

July 29 at 7:05pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

As Derrick Rose inches closer toward his return to NBA action in 2014/15 following a season-ending injury last season, Kevin Pelton of ESPN explains why the Bulls superstar is better preparing himself by starting his adjustment period against some of the league’s best point guards in Team USA camp rather than waiting until Bulls training camp in the fall to begin playing at a high level (Insiders only). With that aside, here’s more of what we’ve gathered out of the Central Division this evening:

  • Rose outlined what his pitch to Carmelo Anthony had been as he spoke with reporters, including Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. Rose’s message was simple, but it was seemingly more than just the brief hello that one report had indicated was the extent of the contact between the two stars.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that the team had to be more aggressive in its pitches to free agents this summer because of its lack of success on the court of late, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press notes.
  • Dion Waiters and Andrew Wiggins have both been in plenty of trade chatter, but if they both remain with the Cavs, only one of them seems likely to start. Waiters isn’t demanding that he be the starter, but he’s resolute in his belief that he’s the man for the job, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
  • Doug McDermott is aware that his name is being attached in trade talks regarding Kevin Love; however, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Bulls rookie hasn’t asked the front office to keep him updated on those rumors as he waits to see what happens.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

And-Ones: Scott, Prigioni, Parker

July 27 at 12:27pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

While he believes that Byron Scott is a good coach, Tom Ziller of SB Nation doesn’t think Scott will solve the Lakers problems. Ziller also believes Los Angeles made a “typical coaching carousel signing” in picking up Scott, whom Ziller describes as “an undervalued, affordable coach” despite the team’s ability to afford any coach they wanted.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Donatas Motiejunas, when discussing former teammate Chandler Parsons who left the Rockets to sign a three-year, $46.08MM deal with the Mavericks, told Simonas Baranauskas of Lithuania Basket (Twitter link), “He’s a good player, but would it be logical for management to pay him more than James Harden?” Houston declined to match the offer sheet Parsons had signed with the Mavs.
  • With the NBA discussing extending the All-Star break to seven days, Zach Lowe of Grantland (Twitter links) thinks the league should first look to adjust the amount of regular season games played, and doesn’t think the longer break would be a positive if it meant more back-to-back games, or beginning the season at an earlier date.
  • Pablo Prigioni is glad to be re-united with former Spanish League teammate Jose Calderon on the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Prigioni believes Calderon will be able to help New York, saying, “We played together in Spain and we did really well. He is a great player and very good professional, a great 3-point shooting guy. He can run the team and read the game very well and is a good defender. He has all that a good point guard must have.”
  • In the same article, Prigioni also expressed his positive feelings towards Carmelo Anthony re-signing with the Knicks, saying, “When I saw Melo re-sign, the first thing I did was send him a message saying that I was so happy to have a chance to still play with him. And I told him that I’m sure we will play much better next season.”
  • Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes that Bucks first-rounder Jabari Parker will have the biggest impact of any rookie this coming season, as well as take home Rookie Of The Year honors.