David ‘Dubi’ Pick: Hornets power-forward Jason Maxiell signed with Tianjin Steel of the Chinese CBA, source said.
September 23, 2017 | 6:45 pm EDT Update
Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Knicks GM Scott Perry had been talking on and off about a possible deal for weeks. Talks intensified in the 24 hours before Saturday’s agreement, league sources said. As training camp loomed next week, Perry increasingly wanted no part of the circus that awaited his franchise with media day and Anthony’s arrival both on Monday. Around the organization and Anthony, there was a belief that the unresolved saga would become a suffocating daily issue. Perry started to feel the urgency of making a deal on Friday, and engaged Oklahoma City in more serious dialogue, league sources said.
Once Anthony expanded his list of teams to include Cleveland and Oklahoma City within the past 10 days, Perry had more flexibility to move Anthony. Perry remained in contact with Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who had the most versatile array of assets for New York and motivation to make the deal — but, ultimately, Anthony would not accept a trade to the Pacific Northwest. Anthony was intrigued with a potential partnership with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and the stability and track record of the front office and coaching staff in Portland, but did not want to make such a dramatic geographic shift, league sources said.
New York had been willing to do an Anthony deal with his preferred choice, Houston, that included Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza, but the Rockets consistently rejected that idea, league sources said. Houston had become the focus of Anthony’s trade request after the Rockets acquired All-Star guard Chris Paul, a close friend, in late June. But Houston needed a deal to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years and $60 million left on his contract.
Cleveland’s package included Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, and would’ve needed to be supplemented with minimum veterans, league sources said. Cleveland would never have considered including its 2018 first-round pick via Brooklyn, league sources said. New York had been pursuing a future first-round pick from Oklahoma City, but the Thunder were unable to acquire one as part of a larger deal for New York, according to league sources.
Free-agent guard Trey Burke is finalizing a non-guaranteed deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told The Vertical. Burke, 24, is expected to compete with Semaj Christon in training camp for the Thunder’s third point guard spot. Burke spent last season with the Washington Wizards, averaging five points and 1.8 assists in 57 games.
Which player in the NBA do people say is the new Jason Kidd? Kidd: “I guess the kid out of L.A. The Ball kid, Lonzo Ball. I guess he’s gotten a lot of comparison. Watching him in Vegas (at Summer League), he understands the floor, he understands the situation. He finds the open guy. Only time will tell. He might be better than I am.”