Ryan Anderson

Injury Notes: Hill, Wall, McCaw, Gordon, Anderson

After missing the Pelicans‘ first 69 games this season due to a torn left hamstring, Solomon Hill returned on Sunday and said he “felt way better than I thought I would,” per William Guillory of The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Despite the fact that he hadn’t appeared in a regular season game since last spring and only played eight minutes, Hill said he felt comfortable on the court.

“I kind of felt after a while that it was like my fifth game back,” Hill said. “It kind of just came and went. … When it was over, (I) was really thinking I can play more. It’s a good sign.”

As New Orleans works Hill back into its rotation, let’s round up a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA…

  • It’s not “etched in stone,” but John Wall could participate in five-on-five practice by the end of this week, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said today (Twitter link via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post). Wall, sidelined since January 25, remains on track to return from his knee injury in advance of the playoffs.
  • Patrick McCaw is set to return to action on Monday night against San Antonio, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect the second-year guard to just sit on the bench. Expect McCaw to play about 15 to 20 minutes, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “We need him,” Kerr said.
  • Having passed the concussion protocol, Aaron Gordon will be available to play for the Magic on Tuesday night vs. Toronto, the team announced today (via Twitter). Gordon, a restricted free agent this summer, last appeared in a game on March 7.
  • Ryan Anderson played in both of the Rockets‘ games over the weekend after missing the previous nine contests with hip and groin injuries. As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes, Anderson struggled a little with his rhythm in his first game back, but said he felt “no pain.”

Rockets Explore Market For Ryan Anderson

The Rockets are exploring the market for power forward Ryan Anderson, ESPN Rockets Insider Kelly Iko tweets. This comes as no surprise, since Houston has been open to moving Anderson’s big contract since last summer. Anderson is making $19.6MM in the second year of his four-year contract and is owed $20.4MM and $21.3MM over the next two seasons.

Anderson was a hot commodity during the summer of 2016 in a league that covets stretch fours. But Houston seemingly experienced buyer’s remorse just months after signing him.

Anderson appeared in 72 games last season, averaging 13.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG. He has started 49 of 50 games this season but has seen his role in the offense shrink. He’s averaging 10.2 PPG, his lowest output since the 2009/10 season when he played for the Magic. He has been a bigger factor on the boards at 5.4 RPG.

He’s still shooting a solid 37.9% from long range and a majority of his shots have come from beyond the arc. He averages 5.6 3-point attempts per game, compared to 2.4 attempts inside the 3-point line.

Anderson’s name was prominently mentioned in trade talks this summer involving the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. One of the reasons New York turned down offers from Houston is that it wasn’t interested in taking on Anderson’s deal.

In order to move Anderson’s contract, the Rockets would likely have to part with at least one first-round pick. Last summer, teams were reportedly asking for two first-rounders from Houston in order to acquire his hefty contract.

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.