Carmelo Anthony

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, Luxury Tax, Rabb

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin wanted more autonomy when it came to managing his team’s roster, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com says. The scribe responded to a question  about Griffin’s recent exit in a mailbag with readers.

Per Vardon, franchise owner Dan Gilbert had a tendency to get in the way of trades and contracts and the philosophical differences between the two parties were evident.

Vardon confirms that Griffin was also seeking a significant raise but doesn’t suspect that any negotiations even reached that far considering that they didn’t appear to be on the same page to begin with.

  • The $2MM reduction in payroll room the league hinted at with its latest salary cap projection could cost the Cavaliers as much as $10MM in luxury tax damage, Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today writes. The Cavs will be hit with the repeater tax in 2017/18.
  • The Cavaliers had a deal on the table to acquire the 34th pick in the draft last night with the intention of drafting Ivan Rabb, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Rabb ultimately went 35th overall.
  • The Cavaliers could look to add Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While the scenario sounds, and probably is, farfetched, Vardon suggests that their personal ties to LeBron James could land them in Ohio if they are ultimately bought out by their respective clubs.

Spurs Have Interest In Derrick Rose

The Spurs have been linked to Chris Paul multiple times this month, but he’s not the only point guard expected to be on the team’s radar, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, who tweets that San Antonio also has interest in Derrick Rose. In fact, Shelburne classifies the Spurs’ interest in both Paul and Rose as “strong.”

It’s somewhat hard to imagine Rose landing in San Antonio in free agency, but he’ll likely be significantly less expensive than CP3 as a free agent, and may not require a long-term deal. The Spurs also don’t currently project to have room for a maximum salary free agent, so pursuing Rose as a more affordable alternative is one path the team could take.

Still, while Rose continued to exhibit his ability to get to the basket and score last season, averaging 18.0 PPG, he’s not much of a distributor or a shooter — he recorded just 4.4 APG and made 21.7% of his three-pointers for New York. The Knicks don’t appear all that interested in retaining him this summer, though Phil Jackson said on Thursday night that the club is approaching Rose’s free agency with a willingness to listen (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).

Within a piece for The New York Daily News, Stefan Bondy offers another seemingly far-fetched Spurs-Knicks scenario, suggesting that a trade involving Carmelo Anthony and LaMarcus Aldridge could make sense for both sides, with Aldridge reportedly unhappy in San Antonio. However, Bondy acknowledges there’s no guarantee Anthony would waive his no-trade clause to join the Spurs, and I’m not sure he’d be a fit in San Antonio anyway.

A source tells Bondy that another possible Aldridge trade possibility to watch for is a sign-and-trade scenario involving Hawks big man Paul Millsap.

Knicks Rumors: Porzingis, Carmelo, Z. Collins

Players and agents around the NBA have taken notice of the way the Knicks have treated their star players under Phil Jackson, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. While the appeal of playing in New York has been on the decline somewhat in recent years thanks to the team’s poor performance, this year’s Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis situations have made the club even more toxic.

“There are 30 teams, and you don’t want to write off anybody, because there’s only so many rotation spots around the league,” one agent tells Deveney. “But of course you’d have to be worried about sending a guy to New York with this front office, especially an upper-level guy. Because he might be doing what he can to help and you might have the team president there ripping him in the media like it’s his fault or putting him in trade rumors. … No one wants that. You have to be concerned about that.”

Deveney’s piece was published early in the day on Wednesday, before Phil Jackson confirmed publicly in an interview on MSG that he’s listening to inquiries on Porzingis.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • According to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News, multiple people familiar with the Knicks’ thinking believe that the Porzingis drama is a result of members of the front office scrambling to save face and protect their jobs.The front office is in full survivor mode,” a team source tells Isola. “The place is a mess, so now they want to make it seem like the kid is the problem. Suddenly he’s uncoachable. He won’t listen. They’re trying to put it all on him.”
  • For his part, Porzingis has his own thoughts and opinions on the Knicks and the triangle, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details. Wednesday’s other Porzingis rumors can be found right here.
  • Jackson’s MSG interview also included a segment on Carmelo Anthony, with the Knicks president suggesting that he still thinks Anthony would be better off elsewhere, though he acknowledged that Carmelo may prefer to stay in New York. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News writes, Jackson hasn’t given up hope on a trade, but Anthony does have a no-trade clause that he can use if he wants to.
  • The Knicks had dinner with Gonzaga big man Zach Collins on Tuesday night, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Collins is viewed as a potential top-10 pick, though it would be a surprise if he lands with New York, considering the team’s apparent preference for a guard or wing. Jackson indicated today, in fact, that there’s a “good chance” the Knicks will use their No. 8 pick on a guard (Twitter link via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders).

Knicks Rumors: Dolan, Ntilikina, Kennard, Carmelo

Appearing on Fox 5 this week, Knicks owner James Dolan was asked about his involvement in basketball decisions, and maintained that he has no role in that side of the business. According to Dolan, who has been more hands-on with the basketball operations department in the past, people ask him all the time about the Knicks’ roster, and he tells them to “ask Phil [Jackson].”

“It’s all Phil. It’s all [GM] Steve [Mills],” Dolan said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “I’m working on my music, they’re working on the basketball team.”

Here’s more out of New York:

  • The Knicks reportedly have interest in French point guard Frank Ntilikina, and it appears that interest is mutual. Marc Berman of The New York Post spoke to Ntilikina, a probable lottery pick, about his potential fit with the Knicks, the idea of playing with Kristaps Porzingis, and more.
  • Former Duke sharpshooter Luke Kennard is another player the Knicks figure to consider with the No. 8 overall pick, and he worked out for the team on Monday, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Kennard is currently considered more likely to be picked outside of the top 10.
  • With the Cavaliers looking to find a way to add more firepower to compete with Golden State, Carmelo Anthony may find his name linked to Cleveland in the coming weeks. However, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, that scenario would probably only be viable if the Knicks bought out Anthony and he was willing to play on a discounted contract in Cleveland. In other words, a trade isn’t likely.

Knicks Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Mitchell, Williams-Goss

Dennis Smith Jr. met with Knicks team president Phil Jackson and according to the prospect’s trainer, he would love a chance to play with Carmelo Anthony, as Adam Zagoria of Fan Rag relays.

“Those guys are proven, USA [Basketball], Olympic players, I think he would mesh well. And Junior wants to learn now, too,” Smith’s longtime trainer Shawn Farmer. “He doesn’t just want to go in and think he knows everything. He wants to get up under those guys’ wing and learn from those guys.”

Farmer added playing in the triangle wouldn’t upset Smith. “He saw it was successful prior years with Kobe [Bryant] and all of those kids [on the Lakers]. So Junior is one of the smartest basketball players I’ve ever been around and I’ve played professionally in Europe. I’ve been around a lot of pros and not being biased, he’s such a smart kid,” Farmer said.

The NC State product was expected to work out for New York on Wednesday, but that never took place, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports (ESPN Now link). The point guard also met with the Magic on Wednesday, so it’s possible that he received a draft promise from Orlando and decided not to go through drills with the Knicks, though that is merely my speculation.

Here’s more from the Big Apple:

J.R. Smith: Carmelo Anthony’s Treatment ‘Unfair And Unjust’

With Knicks president Phil Jackson stating his preference for Carmelo Anthony to leave New York, the 1o-time All-Star has received support from Knicks legends, former and current teammates, and the NBPA. Anthony’s former Knicks teammate and current Cavaliers sharpshooter, J.R. Smith, can be added to the list of supporters.

Smith teamed with Anthony for parts of three seasons before he was traded to Cleveland along with Iman Shumpert in 2014. Speaking at a media session before Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, Smith told Newsday’s Greg Logan that Anthony’s treatment has been poor.

“I haven’t spoken to [Anthony] on the topic, but I’m sure he does feel some type of way about how he’s being treated,” Smith said. “It’s really unfair and unjust. But I’m not on that team and I’m not in that situation, so I really don’t want to speak too much on it. I’ve got bigger things going on in the NBA Finals. But I hope for the best for him. Melo is a very tough guy, and he’ll figure it out.”

Anthony, who just turned 33 years old, averaged 22.4 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 74 games during the regular season as the Knicks posted a losing record and missed the playoffs a fourth straight season. Jackson initially stated his preference for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause at a press conference in mid-April.

“We’ve not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time,” Jackson said. “I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”

Anthony has not publicly commented on his intentions as the offseason approaches but the veteran will be a key player to watch as a trade candidate this summer.

Knicks Notes: Rubio, Anthony, Oakley

A majority of the past few months has fixated on the Knicks‘ interest Ricky Rubio and several people in the organization want the team to continue pursuing the point guard, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes. Rubio, who will turn 27 in October, was linked to New York up until the trade deadline this past regular season, when a Derrick Rose-for-Rubio swap nearly completed.

Rubio enjoyed arguably his best season ever, posting career-highs in PPG (11.1), APG (9.1), and field goal percentage (40.2 percent) through 75 games. However, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has indicated that the team views 2016 draft pick Kris Dunn as a mainstay at point guard. Begley reported last month that the Timberwolves view the aforementioned Rose as a target in free agency, which would displace Rubio and make a trade more likely.

The Knicks — who own the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft — are also currently in talks with the Trail Blazers about potentially acquiring another first-round pick. So whether it’s Rubio or the draft, the Knicks figure to be one of the most active teams in free agency and the trade market this offseason.

  • In a separate piece for ESPN, Begley examines how Carmelo Anthony‘s $8.1 MM trade kicker impacts his value this offseason. The kicker would have different ramifications if he’s dealt on or before certain dates. If Anthony is traded before June 30, the kicker can be spread out over the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons; if he’s traded before July 1,  it’s spread out over two seasons; if he’s traded after July 1, the entire kicker is factored into his 2017/18 salary. Begley’s thorough examination also includes information on how several potentially interested teams would need to free up salary to accommodate the 10-time All-Star.
  • Knicks legend Charles Oakley appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday and rejected a deal to drop charges stemming from a February 8 incident at Madison Square Garden. Once again from Begley, Oakley’s trial date was set for August 4; he was hit with five charges after a physical run-in with MSG security, including two misdemeanors of assault, two misdemeanors of harassment and one misdemeanor of trespassing. Oakley, who played in New York a decade, has historically had a bad relationship with team owner James Dolan, who Oakley accused of unfairly kicking him out of The Garden.

Shumpert, Smith: Carmelo Wants To Stay In New York

Trading Carmelo Anthony out of New York may not be as easy as team president Phil Jackson is hoping, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, two of Anthony’s friends and former teammates, believe he wants to remain with the Knicks and will use his no-trade clause to veto any deal.

“Sometimes you feel like it’s just unfinished business, and I feel like that’s what it is with Melo,” Shumpert said, referring to the Knicks’ 31-51 season. “He don’t want to leave on that note.”

Smith noted how hard Anthony worked to get to New York, forcing the Nuggets’ hands in a 2011 deal so he could be part of the league’s biggest market.

“He does want to stay in New York. He made the effort to get to New York,” Smith said. “Granted, it hasn’t gone as well as he hoped it would. But I’m sure that’s where he wants to be.”

Anthony will make more than $26.2MM next season and has an early termination option for his nearly $28MM salary in 2018/19. Jackson would like to get those figures off the Knicks’ salary cap, and contacted the Clippers, Cavaliers and Celtics before February’s deadline in an attempt to work out a trade.

Any team that does deal for Anthony would have to absorb his 15% trade kicker, which would bring his total cap hit to about $30MM.Anthony hasn’t made any public appearances since the season ended, Bondy notes, apart from a single workout session. He has also stopped posting on social media since mid-April.

While Anthony has chosen silence, Jackson has remained persistent about his desire to find a taker for his star. He began with a postseason press conference in which he stated that Anthony would be “better off somewhere else,” then repeated those sentiments to the media at the draft combine.

“I don’t think [Jackson] should’ve been so vocal about [wanting to trade Anthony],” Shumpert said. “That’s just me. I think a lot of stuff is better if everybody just assumes what’s going on and they don’t really know what’s going on. I didn’t like that it was publicized, but what am I going to do? He said some stuff about me too.

“I know it’s not going to bother Melo’s jumpshot next season. Melo is going to continue to work and get better, and continue to try to win. That’s all he can do.”

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Sixers, Weltman, Stevens

Knicks legend and former Phil Jackson teammate Earl “The Pearl” Monroe tells Marc Berman of the New York Post he doesn’t believe the Zen Master surrounded Carmelo Anthony with enough help. The Knicks are coming off their fourth losing season and Jackson has made it known he wants Anthony to waive his no-trade clause and play elsewhere.

“I thought this team was going to be pretty good with Derrick Rose coming in and Courtney Lee, though I’m not sure he’s a starting guard,’’ Monroe said. “But there was no chemistry, not even in the locker room. And Melo, he has done what he was brought here to do.”

Moroe added that center Joakim Noah, who struggled with injuries and suspension in the first year of a four-year, $72MM deal, could have been the vocal leader and presence but could not do so. Anthony, 32, for his part played well, averaging 22.4 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 74 games. This offseason, however, it appears that Jackson’s objective is to trade Anthony in lieu of acquiring reinforcements for him.

Here are additional notes from the Atlantic division:

  • Jeff Goodman of ESPN joined CSN New England to discuss the Celtics and stressed that head coach Brad Stevens is the organization’s biggest draw. While Isaiah Thomas becoming an elite scorer may be enticing to some players, Goodman says that him dominating the ball for most of the game will turn away a lot of players. The Celtics, in Goodman’s view, are the closest team to winning a title that isn’t the Cavaliers, Warriors, or possible the Spurs.
  • After missing out on several future All-Star caliber talent in recent years, the 2017 NBA Draft will be crucial for the 76ers, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. In 2013, Michael Carter-Williams was Philadelphia’s first round pick (11th overall) and Rookie  of the Year. Four picks later, the team missed out on Giannis Antetokounmpo; in 2015, the team took Jahlil Okafor but missed out on talent like Kristaps Porzingis and Devin Booker.
  • Raptors President Masai Ujiri is currently searching for a replacement for the recently departed Jeff Weltman, who joined the Magic as team president. Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (via Twitter) reports that the team is considering internal candidates with Bobby Webster as possibility.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Workouts, Thomas, Nets

The Celtics‘ performance in the Eastern Conference finals may make Boston more interested in a Carmelo Anthony trade, speculates Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman states that executives at the draft combine were predicting that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would base the extent of an offseason shakeup on his team’s ability to be competitive with the Cavaliers. After two straight routs on their home court, it appears Ainge will be more eager to make changes.

Boston will have up to $30MM in cap space, which Ainge would like to use on Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward. If he stays in Utah, the Celtics will have to consider other options, which could include Anthony. Berman says the Knicks would want Jae Crowder as the centerpiece of a deal, along with one of Boston’s two first-rounders in 2018. A signed-and-traded Jonas Jerebko might have to be included to make the salaries line up, but Boston has the cap space to handle most of Anthony’s $31MM price, including his trade kicker.

There’s more today out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan has a workout scheduled with the Knicks on Wednesday, Berman notes in the same story. The sophomore big man, who was named Big 10 Player of the Year, is projected as a second-round pick, and New York has the 44th and 58th selections. Iowa State point guard Monte Morris interviewed with the Knicks at the draft combine and will work out for the team June 8th.
  • Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas will see more specialists this week to check on his injured right hip, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Thomas, who has been declared out for the rest of the playoffs, may require surgery.
  • Markelle Fultz is just the type of player the Celtics need to someday become a legitimate threat to Cleveland, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. The Cavaliers exploited Thomas’ lack of size by throwing frequent traps at the 5’9″ guard, Blakely writes, but it would be much tougher to do that against the 6’4″ Fultz, who has outstanding court vision and can create his own shot off the dribble. Boston earned a shot at Fultz by winning the draft lottery on Tuesday.
  • The Nets may target Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons in free agency, according to NetsDaily. GM Sean Marks has identified small forward as the primary position of need, and Simmons has been outstanding in the playoffs. Simmons, who will be a restricted free agent, has averaged 16 points per game in the Western Conference finals and is shooting 40% from 3-point range. The website also says Brooklyn might be the team to gamble on oft-injured Harry Giles in the draft, and identifies the Sixers, Celtics and Jazz as teams that could be most willing to sell some picks.
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