Carmelo Anthony

Anthony, Cousins, Thomas Uninterested In Taiwan League

It doesn’t appear than any other big-name veterans free agents are seriously considering signing with a Taiwanese team, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post.

Dwight Howard signed with Taoyuan Leopards earlier this month, though he’s currently sidelined with a knee injury.

However, three other former All-Stars who have reportedly drawn interest from Taiwanese teams — Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas — have shown no interest in playing there. The trio continue to wait for another NBA opportunity, regardless of any overseas interest, per Stein.

In terms of Cousins, it rebukes a report that he would soon sign with a team in the Taiwan league. Another report a couple of weeks back stated the Tainan TSG GhostHawks were pursuing Anthony. Stein also wrote in a previous post that Taiwanese teams were targeting Thomas.

Among those players, Anthony would appear to have the best chance of eventually signing another NBA deal. He averaged 13.3 points per game last season for the Lakers, and Stein says the opportunity to play a 20th NBA season “holds considerable meaning” for him.

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Mavs, Lakers, Freedom, I. Thomas

“Contrary to recent reports,” the Mavericks have no interest in trading for Nets swingman Ben Simmons, league sources tell Marc Stein in his latest post at Substack.

A couple of weeks ago, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reported that the Nets had “cursory” trade talks with a Western Conference team, then later said those discussions were about a veteran shooter, and Simmons’ name came up. Begley cautioned that those talks may not have advanced beyond the exploratory stage, but Brooklyn was rumored to be “aggressive” in its pursuit of shooting.

On the heels of Begley’s reports, a Western Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney last week that the Mavericks might be worth watching.

Dallas is a team to watch, Simmons would be an interesting fit next to Luka (Doncic) if the Nets were willing to take back (Tim) Hardaway and (Davis) Bertans. I am not sure how much higher the Mavs could go in terms of an offer but that would definitely be interesting for Luka.”

Stein says the Mavericks may have been mentioned “to try to create some sort of market for Simmons,” who has yet to regain his old form after missing all of last season. Simmons missed his fifth game of 2022/23 Sunday with knee soreness, though he seems confident it won’t be a long-term injury.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • The Lakers have taken a look at some free agents, but Stein gets the sense that they’ll wait until Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant return before making any roster changes. Both players have yet to make their season debuts after each had thumb surgery last month, but they’re expected to play on Friday. The Lakers are hopeful Schröder can provide an offensive boost, Stein adds.
  • After Dwight Howard signed a seven-figure deal to join the Taoyuan Leopards, other Taiwanese clubs are looking at veteran NBA free agents, according to Stein, who writes that Enes Freedom and Isaiah Thomas are among the targets.
  • Carmelo Anthony is another veteran being pursued by a Taiwanese team, but “it’s widely presumed” that the 38-year-old “is holding out for another NBA opportunity,” says Stein. Anthony averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds on .441/.375/.830 shooting in 69 games (26.0 minutes) for the Lakers last season.

Taiwanese Team Pursuing Carmelo Anthony

Could Carmelo Anthony follow Dwight Howard‘s footsteps and resume his playing career in Taiwan? The Tainan TSG GhostHawks are hoping to sign Anthony to a contract, RealGM relays via Focus Taiwan.

GhostHawks head coach Liu Meng-chu said the team’s ownership has given the go-ahead to make an offer to Anthony, who hit the free agent market this summer.

Howard signed with the Taoyuan Leopards on Monday.

Anthony, 38, appeared in 69 games with the Lakers last season, averaging 13.3 PPG and 4.2 RPG while coming off the bench in all but three of those games. The 10-time All Star played two seasons with Portland prior to joining Los Angeles.

While there has been plenty of speculation regarding Anthony’s free agency, there have been no known firm offers.

The six-team T1 League will soon start its second pro season.

Knicks Notes: Griffin, Aldridge, Carmelo, Howard, More

The Knicks still have two projected openings on their 15-man regular season roster, and several former All-Stars who have experience playing in New York are still available on the free agent market. Former Nets big men Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge and ex-Knicks star Carmelo Anthony are among the notable names who remain unsigned.

However, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the Knicks don’t currently view Griffin, Aldridge, or Anthony as a great fit for their roster. If the team makes a trade or two, it’s possible that stance could change, but for now it seems unlikely that any of those veterans will sign with New York, Berman writes.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • In a separate subscriber-only story in The New York Post, Berman cites a source who says free agent center Dwight Howard would love to play for the Knicks. New York’s depth chart at center already features Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Jericho Sims, so it’s unclear if the team would reciprocate that interest.
  • The Knicks’ Donovan Mitchell trade talks with Utah shone a light on a front office hierarchy that many league sources have described as confusing, according to Berman. President of basketball operations Leon Rose, advisor Gersson Rosas, head coach Tom Thibodeau, senior executive William Wesley, general manager Scott Perry, and strategist Brock Aller all have a say in basketball decisions, making it challenging for the front office to come to a consensus, Berman explains.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype explored several Knicks-related topics in the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast, including the Mitchell trade negotiations — Bondy claims the Knicks and Jazz were “at the two-yard line” before those discussions fell apart. Bondy and Scotto also discussed Cam Reddish‘s status, Thibodeau’s future, and which star the Knicks might target next, among other issues.

Celtics Notes: Anthony, Free Agents, Vonleh, Madar

The Celtics aren’t expected to sign free agent Carmelo Anthony as a replacement for the injured Danilo Gallinari, Brian Robb of MassLive writes in a mailbag column. The possibility of Anthony heading to Boston has been rumored over the past week, but multiple league sources tell Robb that Anthony isn’t considered a priority for the team.

The Celtics’ roster isn’t fully set heading into training camp, and a free agent or two could eventually be added. However, Robb hears that Boston wants to give players who are already under contract the first chance to replace Gallinari, including Sam Hauser and some big men who are hoping to make the team.

He suggests that Anthony may become an option later in the season if he’s still available and the Celtics need to add scoring off their bench. Robb also dismisses the prospect of veterans such as Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge being brought into camp.

Anthony remains unsigned roughly two weeks before camps open, even though he was fairly productive for the Lakers last season. The 38-year-old forward averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 69 games while shooting 44.1% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Noah Vonleh could be one of the options to replace Gallinari, but he’ll have to show that his defense has improved to earn a roster spot, Robb adds in the same piece. Vonleh agreed to a one-year training camp contract in August after playing overseas last season. Robb states that Vonleh is a below-average shot blocker and concerns about his defense are the main reason he played for seven teams in seven years.
  • Draft-and-stash player Yam Madar has been impressive for Israel during the EuroBasket tournament, Robb notes in a separate story. The 21-year-old point guard was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft and played for KK Partizan last season. He passed on Summer League to concentrate on his commitment to the Israeli team. Robb calls Madar’s future with the Celtics “murky” considering they drafted JD Davison this year.
  • As the rebuilding Jazz continue to shake up their roster, a deal with the Celtics could become an option, Robb adds in another piece. He examines the potential fit in Boston for several Utah players.

Celtics Notes: Gallinari, Free Agents, Brogdon, G. Williams

The Celtics are expected to apply for a disabled player exception in the wake of Danilo Gallinari‘s ACL tear, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. A report Friday indicates that Gallinari hasn’t given up hope of playing toward the end of the upcoming season, but it appears to be a long shot given his age and the severity of the injury.

If the request is approved, Boston’s DPE would be about $3.2MM, which is half of Gallinari’s salary for 2022/23. The team would be able use that amount to sign a free agent, claim a player off waivers or acquire a player through trade, though Himmelsbach views that last option as unlikely because the Celtics already have two trade exceptions that are worth more.

Boston signed Gallinari in July to provide veteran help off the bench and another three-point shooting threat. His contract includes a $6.8MM player option for next season that he seems almost certain to exercise in light of the injury.

There’s more from Boston:

  • With Gallinari likely unavailable for the entire season, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe looks at some options that are still available on the free agent market. He points to Carmelo Anthony, who might welcome the chance to end his career on a title contender, along with DeMarcus Cousins, Jeremy Lamb, Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Washburn notes that Kevin Durant‘s trade demand worked to the Celtics’ advantage because it froze the free agent market for several weeks, leaving a wealth of veteran players available in September.
  • Malcolm Brogdon may used as the primary backup wing to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Brian Robb of MassLive writes in a mailbag column. Brogdon, who was acquired from the Pacers in July, has the size to handle the role at 6’5″ and is probably the team’s best defensive option at that position. Robb notes that it would also provide more backcourt minutes for Derrick White and Payton Pritchard.
  • Grant Williams will likely ask for a starting salary in the mid-teens in his extension negotiations, Robb adds in the same piece. Robb doesn’t believe president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will meet that price, even though Williams becomes more important with Gallinari sidelined.

Lakers Rumors: THT, Westbrook, Reaves, Nunn, Carmelo

Before the Lakers traded Talen Horton-Tucker to the Jazz in the Patrick Beverley deal, the Pacers expressed interest in the 21-year-old wing, Michael Scotto said in the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast.

As Scotto explains, the Pacers were interested in pursuing a deal that sent Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, and Daniel Theis to the Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Horton-Tucker, and Los Angeles’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. However, L.A. has been reluctant to include both of those first-rounders in any deal not involving Kyrie Irving, and wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about swapping Horton-Tucker for Theis.

Although Horton-Tucker is off the table, Indiana remains one of the two most likely landing spots for Westbrook, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who says a deal involving the Pacers and Westbrook could involve just one of Hield or Turner — the Pacers still have $30MM+ in cap room and could take on Westbrook’s $47MM+ expiring contract without sending out both players. Still, Buha believes that Utah is a more viable destination for Westbrook than Indiana.

Here’s more on the Lakers from the HoopsHype podcast:

  • Scotto has gotten the impression that Austin Reaves and the Lakers have mutual interest in continuing their relationship beyond the 2022/23 season. Reaves will be a restricted free agent next summer and will be seeking a pay bump on his minimum-salary contract.
  • While Kendrick Nunn has been around the Lakers’ facility and has been working out, his ramp-up process has been slowed than anticipated, according to Buha. Nunn said a month ago that he feels 100% healthy, but the acquisition of Beverley gives the team some extra insurance at point guard.
  • A reunion between Carmelo Anthony and the Lakers remains possible, in Buha’s view, but he believes the veteran forward is more likely to land elsewhere. L.A. still needs more shooting, which Anthony could provide, but also wants to continue to upgrade its perimeter defense, which isn’t one of Carmelo’s strengths.

Knicks Notes: Randle, Payne, Mitchell, Anthony

The Knicks may want to find a taker for Julius Randle, but they haven’t been willing to part with any first-round picks in a potential trade, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag column.

Randle is about to enter the first season of the four-year, $117MM extension that he signed after receiving second-team All-NBA honors in 2020/21. That price tag makes it difficult to move him without some other assets attached. Randle is also coming off a disappointing season that featured not only a decline in production, but frequent battles with fans and the media. Katz notes that Randle finished last in effective field goal percentage last season among 112 players rated by Basketball-Reference, and the Knicks were worse by nearly 10 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court.

However, Katz believes Randle’s production was affected by the rest of the roster. Katz says New York had the worst point guard play late in the season of any team that wasn’t trying to tank, and the addition of Jalen Brunson, and possibly Donovan Mitchell, should have a positive effect on Randle.

There’s more from New York:

  • Former Knicks assistant Kenny Payne, now the head coach at Louisville, is credited with helping Randle become a star, but he may have been sending counterproductive messages last season, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. While head coach Tom Thibodeau wanted Randle to share the ball more often, Payne was allegedly pumping up Randle’s ego and telling him he was still “the man.” Berman speculates that Randle would benefit from a deal for Mitchell, especially if the price includes Obi Toppin, whom Knicks fans often chanted for when Randle was on the court, and Evan Fournier, whom Randle clashed with in their first season as teammates.
  • The Knicks need to be careful that they don’t overpay Utah for Mitchell, argues Steve Popper of Newsday. He notes that although several other teams have expressed interest in Mitchell, nobody has been willing to meet Danny Ainge‘s asking price. Popper points out that the Knicks’ backcourt is already better than it was last season through the addition of Brunson and the return of Derrick Rose.
  • Carmelo Anthony has interest in returning to New York, where he played from 2011 to 2017, Jake Fischer said on his “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast. However, Fischer adds that the Knicks may not share Anthony’s desire for a reunion.

Nets Eyeing Markieff Morris, Tristan Thompson

With the Kevin Durant saga resolved at least for the time being, the Nets can shift their focus to filling out their projected regular season roster, which currently has a couple openings. According to reports from Chris Milholen of NetsDaily (Twitter link) and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Nets may use one of those spots to bolster their frontcourt with a free agent addition.

Milholen reports that there’s mutual interest between Markieff Morris and the Nets, with Scotto confirming that the team has expressed “exploratory” interest in the veteran forward.

Morris was limited to just 17 appearances last season in Miami due to a neck injury that sidelined him for much of the year, but he has a solid NBA résumé, having appeared in over 700 regular season games for six teams since entering the league in 2011. In his last full season, Morris averaged 6.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 61 games (19.7 MPG) for the Lakers in 2020/21. He’s known for his toughness and defensive versatility, and can also stretch the floor a little on offense (.341 career 3PT%).

Veteran center Tristan Thompson is another potential Nets target to watch, according to Scotto, who says the club would like to add a backup center after losing Andre Drummond in free agency.

Thompson, 31, played for three teams in 2021/22, starting the season with the Kings before being traded to the Pacers, who bought him out, clearing a path for him to sign with the Bulls. In total, Thompson averaged 6.0 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 57 games (15.7 MPG).

While there are a number of other intriguing frontcourt players on the free agent market, Scotto threw cold water on the idea that Brooklyn could sign Dwight Howard or Carmelo Anthony, reporting that the club doesn’t currently have interest in either player.

The Nets are carrying 12 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts. Edmond Sumner, who has a partial guarantee of $250K on his minimum-salary deal, has the inside track to be the 13th man. Even if we assume Sumner will make the regular season roster, that still leaves one or two open slots.

Brooklyn has its full taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.48MM) available, though it’s unclear if any of the players on the team’s radar will command more than the minimum.

LeBron James, Udonis Haslem Set To Join NBA’s 20-Season Club

The list of NBA veterans who have played 20 or more seasons in the league will grow by at least two this year, as Lakers star LeBron James and Heat big man Udonis Haslem are set to become the ninth and 10th players to spend at least two decades on NBA rosters.

The players already in the NBA’s 20-season club are as follows:

While James and the majority of the other players on the above list spent time with multiple teams over the course of their lengthy NBA careers, Haslem is on track to join an even more exclusive club, having only played for the Heat during his 20 years in the league.

Nowitzki (21 seasons with the Mavericks) and Bryant (20 with the Lakers) are the only two other players to spend at least two decades with a single team. Prior to deciding on Sunday to return for one final season in Miami, Haslem had been tied on that list with Tim Duncan, who spent 19 years with the Spurs, and John Stockton, who spent 19 with the Jazz.

Haslem will also become the first member of the 20-season club who began his NBA career as an undrafted player. In fact, James and the other eight players with 20 seasons under their belts were all lottery picks. Bryant, the No. 13 selection in 1996, was the lowest draft pick of any of those nine players, making Haslem’s accomplishment all the more remarkable.

Although Haslem defied the odds to spend 20 years with a single team after going undrafted, he confirmed on Sunday that he intends to retire after the 2022/23 season, so he won’t move any higher on the list of the NBA’s seasons played leaders. James, on the other hand, has a good chance to match or surpass Carter’s record of 22 years in the league — LeBron is already under contract through 2024/25, which would be his 22nd NBA season.

Finally, it’s worth noting that a third player is in position to join James and Haslem and become the 11th player in the 20-season club in 2022/23. Carmelo Anthony, who also entered the NBA in 2003 and has played for 19 years, remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent, but seems likely to catch on with an NBA team either before opening night or at some point during the season.