Carmelo Anthony

Rockets Notes: Westbrook, Harden, Anthony, Mbah a Moute

Scouts and assistant coaches from rival teams are skeptical that the RocketsRussell WestbrookJames Harden backcourt pairing will work, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports. There is widespread doubt that the two stars will blend their games offensively since Westbrook is poor 3-point shooter and prefers to play at a different pace than Harden. Many of those interviewed also predicted the Rockets’ perimeter defense will decline.

“They’re both hardheaded guys and we know Harden’s history with other players there,” one scout told Deveney.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Owner Tilman Fertitta said he never met Carmelo Anthony and was surprised that his staff decided to part ways with the longtime All-Star after just 10 games last season, he told Ian Begley of SNY. “Basketball ops decided to make a decision and, you know, it kind of surprised me too, as a fan of the Houston Rockets. But I know what I know and I know what I don’t know. And if my basketball ops thought that we should move on, then I sure wasn’t going to tell them not to, even though I thought that Melo’s one the greatest players to ever play the game.”
  • It isn’t out of the question that Luc Mbah a Moute will eventually sign with the Rockets, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Currently a free agent, Mbah a Moute decided not to attend a team mini-camp for veteran free agents in Las Vegas. The team had conversations with him over the summer about a possible return but there was lingering doubt about the health, Iko continues. Though the team subsequently signed Thabo Sefolosha, adding Mbah a Moute to shore up wing depth would be ideal, Iko adds.
  • The addition of Sefolosha became official on Monday. Get all the details here.

Charania’s Latest: Nets, Heat, CP3, Noah, Clippers

Despite the fact that multiple Nets players are reportedly pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony, Brooklyn appears very unlikely to do so at this point, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Nets are more likely to fill their 20-man offseason roster they’ve worked out in recent weeks, including perhaps veteran forward Lance Thomas and swingman C.J. Williams. Dante Cunningham and Luol Deng are among the other free agents who have emerged as viable targets for Brooklyn, Charania adds.

With Wilson Chandler facing a 25-game suspension, the Nets could theoretically move on from the former Nugget to open up a spot on their 15-man regular season roster, but they currently have no plans to do so. As Charania points out, keeping Chandler on the suspended list during his 25-game ban will allow the franchise to recoup some of his salary. Plus, team executives believe Chandler would be quickly scooped up by another team if he were released later in the season.

Here are a few more items of interest from Charania’s latest round-up:

  • The Heat still have some level of trade interest in Thunder point guard Chris Paul, according to Charania. Miami is expected to wait to see how the start of the season goes before seriously considering whether to renew its pursuit of CP3, who would reciprocate the Heat’s interest.
  • Free agent big man Joakim Noah intends to join the Clippers for workouts this week, sources tell Charania. Noah’s father first suggested earlier this month that his son would be working out for the Clippers.
  • Nuggets guard Malik Beasley, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension up until October 21, has hired Rich Paul and Lucas Newton of Klutch Sports for representation, says Charania.
  • Although DeMarcus Cousins is only a one-year contract and seems likely to miss the entire 2019/20 season due to his torn ACL, the Lakers aren’t ready to move on from him yet. The Lakers wants to integrate him into the club’s culture, according to Charania, who notes that Cousins is expected to be around the team during its mini-camp in Las Vegas this week.

Several Nets Players Remain In Favor Of Adding Carmelo Anthony

Multiple Nets players remain “fully in favor” of the team signing free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Reports linking Anthony to Brooklyn have become a near-weekly occurrence as of late. We initially heard at the end of August that the Nets continued to monitor the 10-time All-Star and that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were reportedly “pushing” the team to sign him. Meanwhile, a report last week suggested that Brooklyn’s interest in Anthony might be increasing with Joe Johnson off the market.

Even if Irving, Durant, and other Nets players are in favor of Anthony coming aboard, two key questions would have to be answered before it becomes a reality. The first is whether general manager Sean Marks is actually interested in signing the 35-year-old, since Marks will be the one ultimately making the decision, regardless of how many players support the idea.

The second is where Anthony would fit on the roster, which already features 15 players on guaranteed contracts. As Begley details and as we’ve noted before, Wilson Chandler‘s 25-game suspension will help create an opening on the regular season roster. But Chandler can’t be moved to the suspended list until he spends the first five games of the year on the active roster, and the Nets would have to activate or waive him once his suspension ends, essentially creating a 20-game window for the club to carry an extra player.

It’s not known whether Anthony would be interested in signing a non-guaranteed contract to essentially spend those 20 games auditioning for a more permanent spot on the Nets.

Training camps will get underway around the NBA in less than two weeks, and opening night is less than five weeks away, so if Anthony hopes to start the season on an NBA roster, he’ll need to secure a deal pretty soon.

Nets’ Interest In Carmelo Anthony May Be Growing

With Joe Johnson possibly headed to Detroit, several Nets veterans are pushing the front office to sign Carmelo Anthony, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Johnson said he was planning to work out for Brooklyn this week, but sources tell Lewis it hasn’t happened yet. He had a session with the Pistons yesterday, and The Athletic’s Frank Isola said on SiriusXMNBA, “From what I’m hearing, Detroit is the favorite to land Joe Johnson.” (Twitter link)

That may leave Anthony for the Nets, who suddenly have a depth issue at forward. In addition to playing without Kevin Durant, who may be sidelined for the entire season, Brooklyn lost Wilson Chandler to a 25-game PED suspension and Rodions Kurucs may be suspended as well over domestic violence allegations.

The Athletic reported that Durant and Kyrie Irving were appealing to management to add Anthony, and GM Sean Marks recently watched him play. Anthony spent much of the summer working out in Los Angeles with a few Nets players.

Taurean Prince tweeted a video of Anthony from those pickup games, along with the following endorsement: “Guarded him for a month straight. Same Melo only thing diff is the narrative ppl throw on his name.”

The Nets are eligible to move a suspended player off their active roster after the fifth game, so talks with Anthony could heat up by early November, if not sooner.

Nets Notes: Offseason, FAs, Kurucs, Riccardi

The Nets were among the summer’s big winners two months ago, having secured free agent commitments from stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving while adding complementary roster pieces like DeAndre Jordan and Garrett Temple.

However, as Frank Isola of The Athletic details, that “once-in-a-lifetime” offseason has hit a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks. Wilson Chandler was hit with a 25-game PED suspension and Rodions Kurucs was arrested for an alleged domestic incident.

Throw in the fact that Durant is expected to miss most of the season and the knowledge that Irving contributed to disharmony in the Celtics’ locker room last year and there are plenty of uncertainties and question marks in Brooklyn heading into ’19/20.

As the Nets look to minimize the drama in Brooklyn, here are a few more notes related to the franchise:

  • Isola suggests the Nets will “likely” make a roster move at some point with Durant out and Chandler suspended for the season’s first 25 games. As NetsDaily observes, there has been plenty of chatter lately linking Brooklyn to veteran free agents Carmelo Anthony and Joe Johnson.
  • Kurucs’ attorney Alex Spiro tells legal expert Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated that the allegations against his client are “bogus” and claims they’re the result of a bad breakup. Still, as McCann outlines, Kurucs may face a suspension from the NBA depending on how the case plays out. Because he’s facing misdemeanor – rather than felony – charges, the Latvian forward shouldn’t have any issues related to his immigration status or work visa.
  • The Long Island Nets – Brooklyn’s G League affiliate – announced on Thursday that they’ve named Matt Riccardi as their general manager and Shaun Fein as their head coach. Riccardi drew interest from Memphis earlier this offseason, but opted to stick with the Nets.

And-Ones: Melo, Howard, NBA Owners

Carmelo Anthony is still searching for a team and one Western Conference executive tells David Aldridge of The Athletic that the Heat may be the best team for the small forward while cautioning that Melo’s game may need to adjust.

“Miami, if he is willing to work with [Pat Riley] hard on conditioning. He can replace D-Wade’s scoring,” the exec said. “Or, Portland. They play a lot of isolation basketball and they need another scorer. Carmelo is a dinosaur in today’s NBA. Everyone wants ball movement and three-point shooting; not ‘Melo’s forte.”

Aldridges spoke to numerous executives, scouts and coaches and there weren’t many optimistic responses. One Eastern Conference executive did say that if Anthony can accept a role off the bench and be a positive influence in the locker room, the 10-time All-Star could land a $5-7MM deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Anthony isn’t the only veteran left on the market, as Zach Harper of The Athletic details in his look at which players are available. J.R. Smith, Ryan Anderson, and Kenneth Faried are among the notable players who remain free agents.
  • The Lakers made a mistake by signing Howard over Joakim Noah, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com contends on The Jump. Friedell believes adding Noah would have carried less risk, as the former Bulls center has shown he can accept a backup role.
  • The league is exploring a pathway that would allow would-be owners to buy a minority, passive stake in NBA franchises, as Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg relays. The structure and terms have not yet been finalized and the idea will be discussed at an owners’ meeting later this month.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, ‘Melo, Nuggets, Wolves, Jazz

Star point guard Damian Lillard attempted to recruit Carmelo Anthony to the Trail Blazers before the 10-time All-Star was traded to Oklahoma City in 2017 and then again before ‘Melo signed with Houston in 2018.

With Anthony once again on the lookout for a new team, Lillard has made peace with the fact that the veteran forward probably isn’t coming to Portland, as he said during an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast (video link via ESPN). After Lillard detailed his previous recruiting efforts, he was asked if he’s “not putting [his] hand out again.”

“The team or me,” Lillard responded. “I’m like, ‘He ain’t coming here.’ He deserves to be in the league, but he ain’t coming here.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Free agent point guard Isaiah Taylor is working out for the Nuggets in Denver this week, league sources tell Harrison Wind of BSN Denver (Twitter link). After spending the 2017/18 season with Atlanta, Taylor was pushing for a spot on Cleveland’s roster last fall when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently waived. Now healthy, Taylor has also worked out for the Suns and Celtics, according to Wind.
  • The Timberwolves announced this week in a press release that Sam Newman-Beck will assume head coaching duties for their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Newman-Beck, who was an assistant for the Erie BayHawks last season, previously spent eight years (2010-18) in Minnesota as a coaching associate/video scouting director.
  • Bryan Bailey, who was previously on the Salt Lake City Stars’ staff in the G League, has been hired as an assistant by the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jones adds (via Twitter) that Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen will continue to be Utah’s lead assistants, with Lamar Skeeter, Zach Guthrie, and Vince Legarza sharing the third assistant role and rotating on the bench.

Carmelo Anthony’s Camp Helping To Fight Negative Perception

We’re eight weeks out from the start of the 2019/20 NBA season and Carmelo Anthony remains unsigned. There’s a perception that Anthony isn’t willing to simply be a role player, something that he’ll need to accept if he’s going to join a new team, but efforts are being made to change that perception.

Anthony has made sports talk show appearances this summer claiming that he is willing to play any role a team asks of him. According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, his camp is now lobbying for him behind the scenes as well. Those close to Anthony are fighting the negative perception “aggressively,” Deveney writes. Carmelo’s camp is contending that he won’t be a distraction if he doesn’t get scoring opportunities or even minutes on some nights.

Anthony’s last few stops in the NBA have not had storybook endings. He was made a scapegoat for the underachieving Thunder during the 2017/18 season and his run with the Rockets during the 2018/19 season lasted just 10 games. Those came after an uninspiring end to his Knicks career.

Anthony has shown he can handle being a role player, though it’s only come in small sample sizes. On many occasions during his four Team USA stints, he thrived without a high usage role. Can he do that over an 82-game season? He’s claiming he can.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both of whom have played with ‘Melo during international contests, have reportedly lobbied for the Nets to sign him. GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson have kept an eye on Anthony and the duo was reportedly impressed by the future Hall-of-Famer’s game.

Any team that adds Anthony will see an increase in its media attention. Reporters are going to ask him about his role and whether he is enjoying his time on the team among other topics. Anthony’s camp is arguing that he’ll be a net positive in this area.

“He’s got a lot of friends in the league, he is liked by other players. He’s got friends in the media. He doesn’t get into trouble off the court, he never has. [His camp is] really disputing this whole idea that he’s a team cancer,” a source tells Deveney.

Not many players could match prime ‘Melo on offense. Now, he’s seemingly ready to embrace the idea that there’s more to the game – both on and off the court – than scoring. Whether it’s with Brooklyn or another team, it would be surprising if the 10-time All-Star doesn’t get another chance in the league.

Poll: Carmelo Anthony Vs. Joe Johnson

None of the players left on the NBA’s free agent list for the 2019 offseason are likely to be difference-makers for a contending team next season, but that doesn’t mean no free agents are capable of being solid rotation players.

Carmelo Anthony and Joe Johnson are two veteran forwards who might fit that bill, and there are plenty of similarities between the two former All-Stars. Neither player will bring a ton to the table on defense, but they’re versatile scorers who have the ability to create instant offense off the bench. Anthony ranks 22nd on the league’s all-time scoring list, while Johnson is also among the top 50 (No. 46). And both players are interested in resuming their NBA careers after unsatisfactory stints in Houston.

Anthony hasn’t played professionally since falling out of the Rockets‘ rotation early in the 2018/19 season, but he has talked this summer about wanting “another shot” and being willing to accept a more modest role. The Nets are among the teams said to be keeping an eye on the 35-year-old.

As for Johnson, his experience with the Rockets came at the end of the 2017/18 season. He sat out last season before starring in the BIG3 this summer, winning MVP honors and excelling against former NBA players (he led the league in points and assists and was fourth in rebounds).

The Sixers, Clippers, Bucks, and Nuggets are said to have some interest in working out Johnson, who has said he’d like to play in the NBA again because the way things ended in Houston didn’t “sit well” with him.

For teams with interest in a scoring forward, both Anthony and Johnson could hold appeal, though it remains to be seen which player is more intriguing to NBA franchises. We want to know what you think.

Which player, Anthony or Johnson, will have a more successful 2019/20 season? The barometer of “success” is somewhat subjective — it could mean averaging double-digit points, contributing to a contending team, or even just making a 15-man roster.

Do you believe there’s a clear-cut choice between the two? Do they both deserve NBA roster spots? Or are you skeptical that either player can provide any value to a contender going forward?

Vote below in our poll, then head to the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Nets Notes: Carmelo, LeVert, Prince, LiAngelo

In an interview with TMZ (video link), Carmelo Anthony offers little insight into a report last week that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are campaigning for the Nets to sign him. Anthony is close with the two stars and played with them, as well as new Brooklyn center DeAndre Jordan, on the 2016 Olympic team.

“That’s family,” Anthony said. “So, that’s bigger than basketball. If something happens, something’s gonna happen.”

A source told Frank Isola of The Athletic that Nets GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson have watched Anthony this summer and are considering adding him to the team. Brooklyn has a full roster, but will be able to sign a player once Wilson Chandler serves five games of his 25-game PED suspension. Anthony’s representatives have spoken to the Sixers as well, according to Isola.

There’s more this morning from Brooklyn:

  • Fresh off signing a three-year, $52.5MM extension, Caris LeVert tells Bill Bender of The Sporting News that his next goal is to become one of the NBA’s best players. He also believes the Nets are ready to join the league’s elite teams after their success in free agency. “When you get guys like KD, Kyrie and DeAndre, expectations rise,” he said. “We’re looking forward to that. We’ve been working for that. I think everybody loves playing on a big stage. We’re definitely looking forward to this year and the challenges it’s going to bring.”
  • Taurean Prince was a less celebrated addition for the Nets, but he could play an important role in making the team a contender, writes David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. Brooklyn agreed to acquire Prince from the Hawks before the start of free agency, so he got to enjoy watching the team’s success in free agency. He called being traded “bittersweet,” but said he’s eager to be part of a rising power in Brooklyn. “I’m someone who wants to win more than they want to score,” Prince said. “My big thing is getting to the playoffs and being able to play in those type of opportunities and environment.”
  • LiAngelo Ball claims the Nets were one of three teams that talked to him about a possible Summer League role, relays Ralph Orense of ClutchPoints. On an episode of “Ball in the Family,” Ball says the Thunder and Heat also expressed interest.