Storyline: Carmelo Anthony Trade

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5 months ago via ESPN

It doesn’t matter now, but Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says he would have been fine with coaching Carmelo Anthony in Houston. “Oh yeah. We all get a little bit, hopefully, better at what we do. And it’s a whole different situation and we know that James (Harden) and Chris (Paul) are good friends (of Carmelo’s) so it’s a whole different thing,” D’Antoni said Monday. “Actually after New York, we went to USA Baskteball and we won a gold medal again so it’s not like it’s anything new.” Anthony and D’Antoni weren’t exactly on the same page at the end of D’Antoni’s Knicks tenure. D’Antoni acknowledged in an ESPN The Magazine story that he quit in 2012 after Anthony told the team it needed to choose between he and D’Antoni. Anthony’s preferred trade destination over the summer was Houston, but he ended up being dealt to Oklahoma City.

Carmelo Anthony: New York equipped me to make it in any other place in the world. It taught me how to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do. I never thought I would, especially to you. No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears. Because of you, I have no fears. You came into my life and I was blessed. It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye. It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end.

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has acquired center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second-round draft pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forward Carmelo Anthony. “This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo. We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues,” President Steve Mills said. “We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks.”

But Anthony picked Oklahoma City knowing the circumstances. He’s aware that reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, someone who actually might like shooting more than he does, still presides over the team. He just so happens to know four-time All-Star Paul George. He and Westbrook played an integral role in convincing Anthony to come join them in Oklahoma. He knows the deal, and he waived a no-trade clause to come to OKC en lieu of the big names already present, en lieu of the small market.

The New York Knicks sought Tristan Thompson in a potential trade for Carmelo Anthony with the Cavaliers and were rebuffed, two sources told The Knicks wanted Thompson, 26, a center who like James is represented by Rich Paul. The Cavs told them no. Thompson is under contract for three more seasons, beginning at $16.4 million this year. Cleveland was willing to do a deal that would’ve cleared some contracts off the books, such as sending Iman Shumpert ($11 million this year) and others.

As Paul George sat back in his dining room chair on Saturday afternoon, a gray Nike shirt on his back and the Carmelo Anthony trade on his mind, he pondered what it all meant for an Oklahoma City Thunder team that has recovered so nicely from the loss of Kevin Durant last summer. “This feels like a championship team,” George told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m in a good place. I know Russ (Westbrook) is in a good place. Melo is motivated more than ever…You put us three together, who all have something to prove still, (and) we’re going to be a special team.”

Kristaps Porzingis has volunteered to care for Carmelo Anthony’s Rolls Royce should Anthony decide not to bring his luxury automobile to Oklahoma City. As for the franchise Carmelo is leaving behind, Porzingis is confident that the Knicks are in good hands as well. “I am ready for the challenge,” Porzingis told the Daily News in his first interview since returning to the United States on Saturday. “I’ve been preparing myself for this moment.”

“Well Russ and Melo, they’ve had a relationship far longer and way before me and Melo had a relationship,” George said. “Those two have been on USA teams, and then when I got the chance to play with Melo on the USA team. I expressed (and) he expressed how much we wanted to play alongside each other in an NBA uniform. And then when we both were presented this opportunity this summer, and knowing Melo wanted to opt out and wanted to move on, we’ve connected. We talked, and he expressed again – ‘Hey, I would love to come join you guys and be a part of what you guys have got going there.’ And then from there, it’s a no-brainer. We run with it, and it came to life.”

With President Donald Trump’s tweet and the Golden State Warriors’ first practice on his mind, Stephen Curry didn’t learn that Carmelo Anthony was joining Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade until hours after it was agreed upon Saturday. “I heard [the trade] happened right before practice, but I was out on the court. My phone was blowing up, anyways, for other reasons. I learned about it right as I was coming out here to talk to the media,” Curry said after practice at the Warriors’ training facility on Saturday afternoon.

“I don’t even know about this trade,” Curry said. “I just heard about this trade 10 seconds ago. So, they got Kanter and … I guess I am happy [for Anthony] because I know he wanted to get out and be in a situation where he felt like what he was doing on the court was actually productive. It’s going to be wild to see that trio of guys together. It’s just crazy how the West is getting stronger and stronger. It should be another tough matchup when we play them.”

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says Phil Jackson “chased” Carmelo Anthony out of New York and that the forward’s addition automatically makes the Oklahoma City Thunder a threat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s Western Conference. “They’ve got two top-10 players [in Russell Westbrook and Paul George] and Carmelo, who’s No. 60 or whatever they got him rated,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony to the 2003 NCAA championship, told by phone on Saturday. “I think he’s still a top player, and I think Russell and Paul George make it easier for him to be able to do what he does.”

Asked if he thinks Anthony regrets not making the Knicks a championship contender after arriving in 2011, Boeheim said he did. “Yeah, he loved New York,” he said. “He wanted to come to New York, he wanted to get it done in New York. And he did everything he could to do it, and I don’t think he ever wanted to leave New York. “I think Phil Jackson chased him out, and didn’t leave him a good alternative. But I think both organizations came out of this good.”
6 months ago via ESPN

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.
6 months ago via ESPN

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.
6 months ago via ESPN

Anthony has been encouraging the Knicks to show urgency in their pursuit of a trade before the season, league sources said. The Knicks made a preliminary call to the Cavaliers on Monday, but the two sides haven’t exchanged trade ideas, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland has to weigh the fact that Anthony, with two years and $54 million left on his contract, could opt into the $27.9 million in the final year of his deal for 2018-19 — when LeBron James could be gone in free agency and Cleveland might be embarking on a rebuild.

The Knicks are expected to engage both Cleveland and Oklahoma City on Saturday in hopes of completing a Carmelo Anthony trade by the beginning of training camp on Tuesday, according to league sources. Anthony expanded his list of teams to which he’d accept a trade this week to include the Cavaliers and Thunder, after limiting his choice of teams to the Rockets all summer. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and would have to agree to be sent to a team before New York could consummate any deal.

However, Melo’s biggest carrot would be achieving such a foreign feat alongside Chris Paul. Fast friends for a decade or more, the two waxed poetic over the years about someday becoming teammates. That’s what makes this next news so contradictory. According to a Clipper source, it was Paul, not coach Doc Rivers, as publicized without attribution, who turned thumbs down on a trade on deadline late last February that would’ve made them teammates. Supposedly, Doc declined to include his son, Austin. Let’s be clear about the above: I have been unable to confirm that story, but know this, the informant has been unfailingly accurate over the years.
6 months ago via ESPN

New Knicks general manager Scott Perry says he’s keeping an “open mind” about Carmelo Anthony’s future with the club, but he expects to have Anthony on the roster next week during training camp. “Look, Carmelo’s going to be back here,” Perry said Friday at the team’s training facility. “Carmelo has always been a professional. That’s one thing I’ve always respected about him. I think he can set a good example for the young players. He’s been a 10-time All-Star. If he’s back here with the New York Knicks, we expect him to be the professional he’s always exemplified throughout his career and move forward with him.”
6 months ago via ESPN

Both the Knicks and Anthony remain committed to finding a scenario that ends with Anthony on another team, according to league sources. “We’ve just been in constant contact with he and his representatives and I won’t get into (the) weeds of the details of how far or how close we were to any type of deal,” Perry said. “At the end of the day, what we set out and what we said (in July was), if there was something there that made sense both for him and the Knicks’ organization, then we would strongly consider it. Obviously, we sit here today and that did not happen as of yet.”

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks. Two weeks ago, Carmelo’s wife, La La, said the family thought a trade would have been completed by now. Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston. Reality is another story. Hopefully, Mills and Perry will have the right answers when they address the media on Friday because the Carmelo issue isn’t going away until he goes away.
6 months ago via ESPN

Jeff Hornacek isn’t the only member of the Knicks’ hierarchy to attend one of Carmelo Anthony’s New York City pickup games. Knicks president Steve Mills also attended a pickup game earlier this month featuring Anthony and other players at the Lifetime Athletic gym in Manhattan, league sources told ESPN. Mills’ and Hornacek’s attendance at these games is noteworthy because the Knicks have been looking to trade Anthony for months and Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, is open to being moved. New York has been unable to find a suitable deal with Anthony’s preferred destination, the Houston Rockets. It is unknown if Hornacek or Mills had any substantive discussions with Anthony on the day(s) they attended games. For what it’s worth, Mills last month wrote a long blog on a company website about his vision for the future of the club and didn’t mention Anthony.

“I didn’t want to press him,” Lillard said of Anthony. “I ain’t a big fan of doing all the extra recruiting and all that stuff. And I guess they call it tampering or whatever. It’s not against the rules for us to interact with each other. We all peers, we all play in the same league and everybody hints at playing with each other. ‘What you think about this?’ ‘What do you think about that?’ All that matters is whether it got done or did not get done. Or hasn’t got done, and it hasn’t got done. So, it is what it is … “I’m not giving up on anything. I just think I’ve done what I can do. And camp is a few weeks away. And you have to focus on getting ready with who we are, plan on going in as we are.”

The Knicks and Rockets re-engaged on Carmelo Anthony trade talks a couple weeks ago. The teams apparently haven’t made much more progress than their last attempt. Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN: “Carmelo Anthony right now, those talks have been fairly dormant between Houston and New York. They’ve tried to find third, fourth teams – the Rockets have – to help facilitate a deal with Carmelo Anthony. They haven’t been able to do that. And both sides are prepared for the fact that Melo may have to go to camp with the Knicks.”
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March 20, 2018 | 5:14 am EDT Update

Stephen Curry back Friday?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is targeting a return to action on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, the team’s next opponent, league sources told ESPN. The two-time MVP will have his right ankle re-evaluated on Tuesday. If the evaluation reveals enough progress and there are no unforeseen setbacks from this point to Friday, the sharpshooter intends to play after missing the past five games, sources said.
3 hours ago via ESPN
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Marc Gasol said he will have questions about the direction of the team after the offseason. How will you reassure him that Memphis remains the best fit for him at this stage of his career? Chris Wallace: Marc is having a terrific career here, both individually – being a multiple All-Star, being defensive player of the year, the All-NBA recognition. And he’s had tremendous team success. So, I don’t think one off year from the team success side tarnishes what he’s achieved or necessarily is going to be the norm going forward for the Grizzlies. This happens to all sorts of teams, where you have not as good a year as where you expect to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump right back in and be successful again next year and that’s what our goal is. And he’s a big part of that.
Shumpert is almost certain to opt in for next season. Having dealt with foot and knee injuries, this is not the time for Shumpert to test free agency when he has $11 million guaranteed for next season, even if he’s not a part of the Kings’ long-term plans. I’m intrigued by what Shumpert might add. He’s only 27 and has shown he can play in pressure situations, having been a part of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team. Shumpert will be motivated to show the rest of the league he is healthy and that he can play a key role on a team.
Now that you’re in New York, this is a totally different market. How have you felt about the way the city has embraced you? Michael Beasley: Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything better. For the city and fans to embrace not only the way I play but who I am as much as they did – it feels great to be able to be yourself and be accepted. I thank the city forever for that. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t win as much as we wanted to this year.
Players like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love have talked about that anxiety. Do you think that has helped others be more open with their own struggles? Michael Beasley: Hats off to those guys, man. More people than you think go through that. I go through it. It took me awhile to realize it because we’re raised to believe that it’s an embarrassing thing. It’s definitely inspiring for them to be honest about what they are experiencing. They opened up the floodgates, they opened up the doors, for the next great NBA player or even the next great scientist. The next shy kid with anxiety can break out of their shell because of this.
I watched your interview with Taylor Rooks on SNY where you talked about parenting your daughter, painting your nails. I thought that was super cool. Michael Beasley: [Laughs] Listen, man. I lost my hood card because I’ve got paint on my nails, bro. So that’s good to hear. My four-year-old will be five in April. Not much will change in those years. I think it’s cool. People should be themselves no matter what anyone says and how it feels. Just be comfortable with being yourself.