Ryan Anderson

Texas Notes: Okafor, Barea, Anderson, Paul

The Mavericks may have a long-term need at center, but they don’t plan to pursue Jahlil Okafor, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Okafor wants to be bought out or traded after the Sixers declined to pick up his option for 2018/19. The Mavs “are not particularly interested in kicking the tires” on Okafor, according to Sefko.

Dallas brought in one former Philadelphia center when it traded for Nerlens Noel in February. Noel wasn’t able to work out a long-term deal with the team as a restricted free agent this summer. He opted to take a one-year qualifying offer and will be unrestricted in July of 2018.

There’s more basketball news out of Texas:

  • Mavericks guard J.J. Barea says the “crazy minutes” he played early last season contributed to a left calf muscle tear that bothered him throughout the season, Sefko relays in a full story. Barea is coming off his first summer since 2011 without international basketball and is playing just 23.3 minutes per game. His average was about 10 minutes higher during the first nine games of last season because of injuries in the Dallas backcourt.
  • Rockets forward Ryan Anderson was in New York tonight after a summer filled with trade rumors involving the Knicks, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Anderson was a key figure in Houston’s quest to acquire Carmelo Anthony, but he says he never believed a deal was close. “I don’t think that was too much of a realistic thought to a lot of people because it was so much of what you believe,” Anderson said. “There were so many different news articles. Maybe in preseason there was a little bit of a thought because it was so fresh, but not at all now, I’m ready to move forward this year. We have a battle tonight. We have to focus on that. That’s 100 percent where my mind is now.”
  • Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni expects Chris Paul to return in about two weeks, Feigen tweets. Paul has been sidelined since opening night with pain in his knees.
  • The Spurs are still waiting for their investment in Patty Mills to pay off, according to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. The veteran point guard, who received a four-year, $50MM deal to re-sign with the team over the summer, is averaging 6.1 points and 2.9 assists in a reserve role this season and is shooting just 32% from the field.

Southwest Notes: Asik, Parsons, Rockets, Noel

Pelicans center Omer Asik, who appeared in just 31 games during the 2016/17 season, won’t be ready to start training camp this week, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, who tweets that Asik is being treated for Crohn’s disease. General manager Dell Demps indicated today that Asik will be away from the team for camp, and there’s no timetable for his return to the court (Twitter link via Daniel Sallerson).

For his part, the Pelicans big man says even with no timetable for his return, he’s feeling much better. Asik’s health problems, which began with a parasite, have persisted for much of 2017, and he didn’t start feeling normal until last month (Twitter links via Kushner).

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace confirmed at the club’s Media Day that Chandler Parsons is healthy and ready to go for camp. Parson, who has been playing five-on-five ball, will be a full participant, tweets Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • While some NBA observers have concerns about how Chris Paul and James Harden will mesh in Houston, Rockets president of basketball operations Daryl Morey isn’t worried, suggesting today that the club is “100% certain” it will work (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).
  • Ryan Anderson was able to breathe a sigh of relief this weekend when New York sent Carmelo Anthony to a team besides the Rockets. Speaking today to reporters, including Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter links), Anderson said he talked frequently to the Rockets’ brass and believed there was a “low probability” of being dealt, which he appreciated, since he and his family “love” Houston.
  • Addressing Nerlens Noel‘s role with the Mavericks, head coach Rick Carlisle said today that the big man will likely come off the bench, adding that Noel is okay with that (Twitter links via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com). When he took center stage at Media Day, Noel was asked about signing the one-year qualifying offer with the Mavs and replied, “I love the city of Dallas. I do. But we all know what happens with this business.”

Rockets Notes: Capela, Tax, Anderson, Gupta

While Rockets president of basketball operations Daryl Morey doesn’t want to be making roster decisions with one specific rival in mind, he acknowledges in a Q&A with Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle that it’s impossible not to consider the Warriors at this point when making signings and trades.

“We know we’re going to face them,” Morey said of the Dubs. “We obviously have to get through some extremely tough teams, the Spurs, Oklahoma City, Memphis, you name it. To get there. But if you know you are going to be facing a team if you’re having the season you want, and we want to be all the way to the championship, I think it does make sense to focus on that team.”

Morey pointed to the signings of Luc Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker as moves that were made with the Warriors in mind. Both veteran forwards are strong defenders who would probably match up with the likes of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in a playoff series against Golden State.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Asked by Feigen about the possibility of an extension for Clint Capela, Morey pointed out that contract extensions are getting trickier to pull off around the NBA, since the salary cap isn’t increasingly quite as quickly as initially anticipated, and long-term commitments are starting to add up for many teams across the league.
  • In Houston’s case, new deals for Capela, Chris Paul, and Trevor Ariza next summer would create luxury-tax issues for the club. While Morey didn’t comment specifically about new owner Tilman Fertitta‘s willingness to pay the tax, he told Feigen that Fertitta is “all about winning” and will do what it takes to win. Morey also noted that he has met with the Rockets’ incoming owner a couple times already.
  • Morey tells Feigen that he spoke to Ryan Anderson this week about the Knicks-related trade rumors that have been swirling around Anderson all offseason. “Players get frustrated,” Morey said. “It’s rare for a GM to get frustrated because we have to deal with it all the time, but this one has been frustrating because it’s lingering and not much is accurate out there.”
  • The Rockets announced today that Sachin Gupta has rejoined the team as a special advisor (link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). Gupta was Morey’s first hire back in 2006, but left Houston to become a consultant for the Sixers during Sam Hinkie’s stint in Philadelphia.

Latest On Carmelo Anthony

For much of the summer, after 2017’s top free agents came off the board, we waited for resolution on two notable trade candidates, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony. The Irving saga finally came to an end last week when the Celtics and Cavaliers finalized their blockbuster deal involving the All-Star guard. However, Anthony remains on the Knicks‘ roster, with no recent updates on where things stand with those trade talks.

Ian Begley of ESPN.com has a piece up today rounding up all the latest notes on the Anthony situation, so let’s dive in and pass along the highlights…

  • As of last week, the Knicks were “not close” on an Anthony deal. According to Begley, the Knicks have been telling people around the league that the Rockets – Anthony’s trade partner of choice – just don’t have pieces that appeal to them.
  • The Bucks emerged at one point as a potential third team to help accommodate a Rockets/Knicks swap, says Begley. However, Milwaukee has been trying to shed salary, so the prospect of taking on Ryan Anderson and the $60MM left on his contract likely isn’t much more appealing to the Bucks than it is to the Knicks.
  • In those “very preliminary” talks, Jabari Parker‘s name came up, though it’s not clear if the Bucks or Knicks introduced that idea, Begley writes. In that proposed scenario, Parker would have been part of a larger package that included at least one player on a big contract, such as John Henson or Greg Monroe.
  • Begley notes that the Knicks want to land a combination of a young player, a draft pick, and/or an expiring contract in an Anthony trade, so the idea of landing Parker and Monroe probably appealed more to New York than Milwaukee.
  • Although a trade seems unlikely to happen before the start of training camp, there has been little contact lately between Carmelo and members of the Knicks‘ organization, sources tell Begley. As the ESPN scribe notes, neither side appears to have much interest in having Anthony on the roster to start the season, but the Knicks’ front office remains unwilling to consider a buyout, so it will be interesting to see how the next several weeks play out.

And-Ones: Trade Candidates, Webster, Loyalty

As the dust settles on the Kyrie IrvingIsaiah Thomas swap, Trade Machine junkies will need to find new ways to satisfy their impulses. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders recognizes that we’re not likely to see another blockbuster trade before training camp but has a few ideas of who could possibly be involved if we did.

Of course the first name you might recall hearing on the rumor mill is likely Carmelo Anthony‘s. Kyler notes that the Rockets – a suitor most linked to the veteran forward – are only willing to field a package centered around Ryan Anderson. For this reason, and the fact that Anthony has never been a problem in the locker room, the Knicks would benefit from bringing him to training camp and dealing with the situation later.

Another name on Kyler’s list that could be moved is Reggie Jackson. If the Pistons get out to a slow start similar to what they suffered last season, the club could look to move the point guard for a player with a more palatable contract.

There’s more from around the NBA:

  • While the Pacers may bear the brunt of the Lakers‘ tampering, the Thunder, too, are stakeholders considering that Paul George is under contract in Oklahoma City until next summer. Erik Horne of the Oklahoman spoke with the sports law director at Penn State, Stephen Ross, about the issue. Ross’ perspective is different than some we’ve reported on previously. “To me, the test for player tampering is not the expression of love, it’s, are the players providing information to another player that he wouldn’t otherwise have?,” Ross said. “If a player texts another player, ‘I will sign an extension if you’ll tell me you’re going to come to my team,’ now I think you have a problem.”
  • After undergoing multiple back surgeries and a hip surgery, Martell Webster is attempting an NBA comeback, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. Austin Kent wrote about him working out for the Pelicans last week.
  • A reality of the current NBA landscape is that, loyal or not, the majority of players and teams aren’t afraid to make calculated business decisions. Such is life, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes.

Rockets, Knicks Re-Engage On Melo Talks

The Knicks and Rockets have re-engaged on trade talks regarding Carmelo Anthony, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports. The Rockets are yet again searching for a third team to facilitate the deal.

The Knicks and Rockets made significant progress on a deal when Phil Jackson was in charge, but New York’s new GM Scott Perry has been more particular about the package he’d want in return for Anthony. A deal directly between the two sides remains unlikely as New York does not have an interest in bringing back Ryan Anderson.

Anthony remains determined to go to Houston, as he refuses to expand the list of teams in which he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause for, according to Wojnarowski.

The Pelicans, Blazers, and Thunder are among the teams which have expressed interest in adding the 10-time All-Star. However, Anthony has reportedly been uninterested in joining any of those squads. Portland remains interested in acquiring Anthony should he change his mind. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum continue to recruit Anthony with the hopes that he will change his stance on coming to the Northwest, Wojnarowski adds.

Anthony had previously expressed willingness to waive his NTC to join LeBron James in Cleveland, though Kyrie Irving‘s situation and LBJ’s uncertain future have dulled his enthusiasm for the Cavs.

New York has no problem bringing Anthony to training camp and Woj hears that Anthony beginning the season in a Knicks’ uniform remains a real possibility.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Nets, Raptors

The Knicks have, at least for now, pulled Carmelo Anthony from the trading block and are not actively shopping their All-Star scorer. If the Knicks really wanted to trade Anthony, the team could have sent him to the Rockets if taking Ryan Anderson‘s contract in return was not a hurdle. As Frank Isola of the New York Daily News writes, dealing Anthony for a player who does less on the court and guaranteed more money the next three years is not a wise move.

Anthony, 33, has two years, $54MM left on his deal whereas Anderson, 29, has three years, $61MM left. Reports have suggested the Knicks are seeking a third, possibly fourth, team to complete a deal. After naming Steve Mills president and acquiring Scott Perry from the Kings to be the team’s new general manager, it’s clear that New York is going in a new direction. Owner James Dolan said as much in a statement regarding the team’s new hire.

“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we reestablish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Dolan said (via ESPN). “I’m confident that Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams of the NBA. He’s got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork.”

The Knicks still have an abundance of options with Anthony: They can hold onto Anthony and hope he plays well and trade him midseason if the team is out of contention; keep pursuing trades until the team finds a good fit; and, less ideally, buyout Anthony for cap relief. It’s a complicated situation for all and Anthony, with his no-trade clause and trade kicker, has all the power.

Here are additional notes around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have 10 guards in their organization and acquiring additional size this offseason remains a priority, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post. Kerber mentions Shabazz Muhammad and JaMychal Green as possible targets for Brooklyn as the team continues its search for upgrades in the frontcourt.
  • One of the newest Nets, DeMarre Carroll, tells Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun that he expected a trade this offseason. In the candid interview, Caroll discussed why he did not fit into the Raptors’ offense the way he imagined and why it became frustrating playing for the team.

Knicks, Rockets Explore Four-Team Carmelo Scenarios

3:23pm: An Anthony trade involving the Knicks and Rockets is “at the two-yard line,” a source tells Stefan Bondy and Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. It’s not clear exactly how close the teams are – presumably not as close as if talks were “at the one-yard line” – but as ESPN’s report below indicates, both the Knicks and Rockets are motivated to complete a deal if they can find a scenario that appeases all involved parties.

10:17am: The Knicks and Rockets have explored Carmelo Anthony trade scenarios that would include up to two other teams in a possible four-team deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). However, while New York and Houston are both motivated to get something done, no agreement is imminent, according to Wojnarowski.

Since the Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul two weeks ago, Houston has been frequently cited as a potential landing spot for Anthony, with the Cavaliers viewed as the other viable suitor for the veteran forward. The Rockets appear to be more aggressively pursuing a deal at this point, but a match between Houston and New York is tricky.

For the Rockets to move enough salary to accommodate Anthony’s oversized contract, the team would almost certainly have to part with Ryan Anderson, who will earn more than $19.5MM this season. Anderson’s contract has three years left on it though, with cap hits of $20MM+ in 2018/19 and $21MM+ in ’19/20, and the Knicks have no interest in taking on that sort of long-term money for a veteran.

For a Rockets trade for Anthony to work, at least one other team would likely have to get involved to take on Anderson’s contract. That club accommodating the salary dump would require at least an asset or two for its troubles, and Houston has already traded its 2018 first-round pick, so it will be tricky to find a deal that makes three teams happy. A four-team deal, which would likely involve more players and picks, would be even more challenging. As such, we shouldn’t necessarily expect quick resolution.

Earlier this week, we identified the teams with cap room remaining — I’d expect the Rockets and Knicks are trying to engage several teams on that list. However, the Lakers have since committed their space to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, while the Hawks have cut into their room with a deal for Dewayne Dedmon.

If the Rockets can reach a trade agreement for Anthony, the longtime Knick is expected to waive his no-trade clause – and perhaps part of his trade kicker – to make the deal work.

Carmelo Anthony Open To Waiving No-Trade Clause For Cavs, Rockets

Carmelo Anthony is open to the idea of waiving his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a trade to the Cavaliers or Rockets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, there’s no traction yet on a deal.

The presence of Chris Paul and LeBron James in Houston and Cleveland, respectively, appeals to Anthony, as does with the Rockets’ and Cavs’ ability to contend. While Anthony controls the process due to his no-trade clause, his apparent willingness to accept a deal to the Rockets or Cavaliers is a good first step for the Knicks, who reportedly remain hopeful that a trade can be completed.

Still, there are several roadblocks to overcome for the Knicks, since Anthony’s trade value is diminished due to his exorbitant salary, a 15% trade kicker, and a belief that New York may eventually become receptive to a buyout. The fact that the franchise doesn’t currently have a permanent president of basketball operations in place is also somewhat problematic.

Per Wojnarowski, the Rockets have been “proactive” in pursuing a possible deal for Anthony since acquiring Paul from the Clippers last week. However, the Knicks have little interest in taking back Ryan Anderson, whose $19.5MM+ salary would likely be needed for salary-matching purposes. Anderson’s contract runs through the 2019/20 season.

As for the Cavaliers, they have been frequently mentioned as a possible destination for Anthony, but have shown no willingness to part with Kevin Love in a trade with New York. Cleveland would likely be more inclined to offer pieces like Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and perhaps J.R. Smith in a package for Carmelo, which wouldn’t do much for the Knicks.

With the Knicks reportedly trying to avoid long-term salary commitments for older players, working out an Anthony deal with either the Rockets or Cavs could be challenging unless a third team gets involved.

Latest On The Chris Paul Trade

Chris Paul‘s departure from the Clippers today severed a relationship that began to fall apart when the team acquired Austin Rivers in 2015, according to a Facebook post from Michael Eaves of ESPN. Several Clippers believed Rivers brought an entitled attitude to the team because he is the son of coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers. Veterans didn’t think Austin Rivers tried hard enough to fit in, which created dissension in the locker room. Paul, in particular, thought that Austin Rivers got preferential treatment from his father.

The situation reportedly reached a breaking point prior to the trade deadline when the Knicks offered Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to L.A. in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers. Doc Rivers blocked the deal, which led Paul to believe that coaching his son was more important than winning, with an unidentified league executive saying, “Chris despises Doc.”

There’s more fallout from today’s blockbuster trade:

  • The decision to opt in for the final year of his contract gives Paul more flexibility if he wants to team up with LeBron James next summer, Eaves notes in the same post. He mentions the Rockets, Lakers and possibly the Clippers, if Doc Rivers is gone, as potential destinations for that to happen. In the meantime, Paul can see how well his game meshes with James Harden‘s and gets a financial windfall because Texas doesn’t have a state income tax.
  • Austin Rivers denied on Twitter that he had anything to do with Paul’s desire to leave. “These false rumors are comedy…so fictional it’s actually amusing! People will say or do anything to get attention,” he posted. He concluded the message with “A lot of clowns out there,” using two clown emoji symbols.
  • The Clippers were concerned about the later years of Paul’s next contract, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. A five-year deal in excess of $200MM would have paid Paul nearly $45MM at age 37, and L.A. wasn’t willing to make that commitment.
  • Newly hired Clippers consultant Jerry West didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting with Paul, according to Chris Broussard of Fox Sports 1 (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets would have preferred to clear cap space by trading Ryan Anderson, but there wasn’t much of a market available, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. Two teams that were interested asked for two first-round picks in exchange for taking the three years and $60MM left on Anderson’s contract.
  • Trading for Paul before July 1st will allow the Rockets to enter free agency over the salary cap, Lowe adds, giving them access to a full midlevel exception worth more than $8MM and a biannual exception topping $3MM.
  • The Rockets will continue to pursue other stars, but probably can’t offer Trevor Ariza in any deal, according to Lowe. Paul remains close with his former teammate in New Orleans, and the chance to reunite played a decision in Paul’s decision to pick Houston. The Clippers, Lowe relays, had made several attempts to obtain Ariza.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey credits Harden for making today’s trade happen. In a video posted by Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Morey says the Rockets now have the two best playmakers in the league.
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