THROWBACK TUESDAY: Carmelo Anthony was waived by the Bulls, following his failed stint Houston, on Feb. 1 of last year. After spending the rest of that season, the entire summer and the early part of 2019-20 without a team, or even an inkling of interest league-wide, Anthony finally landed with the Blazers, who were struggling mightily and in need of help.
Well, Anthony has provided that help. On the season, the 10-time All-Star is averaging 16.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 41.1 percent from three, one of the 25 most-accurate marks in the Association this year. And just last night, on the road with Portland needing a bucket to earn a tough win on the road at Toronto, Anthony came through with a beautiful throwback pull-up midrange jumper to seal the game for the Blazers.
Anthony wasn’t the only vintage star to hit a game-sealing bucket last night either. Derrick Rose had one of his own for Detroit, sinking a pretty elbow floater for two of his 24 points on the evening. Rose, who’s averaging over 17 points nightly on 48.6 percent shooting, is just the 165th-highest paid player this season.
Anthony and Rose are doing a great job of reminding NBA front offices, most of whom are mostly focused on the analytics these days, that there can be huge value found in trusting the league’s aging stars. They may not be the prototypical shot-takers for the modern game, but players like Anthony and Rose, or even Chris Paul, know how to get buckets, and can still help teams win. The three of them proved it last night, after all.
KEEPERS & CUTS: Yesterday was the deadline for a bunch of players on non-guaranteed contracts to either be waived or have their deals guaranteed for the rest of the season. Among the notable players who were waived: Marquese Chriss, who was actually playing decently for the Warriors, Gary Clark and Alfonzo McKinnie.
Meanwhile, among the key contributors who had their deals fully guaranteed: Dwight Howard, Trey Burke and Ben McLemore.
LATEST TRADE RUMORS: The trade scuttle around the league isn’t slowing down.
🏀 Andre Drummond is reportedly expected to get dealt prior to next month’s trade deadline, which makes sense considering his high level of play and the Pistons’ likely impending rebuild.
🏀 Although he’s said that he wants to stay in New York, the two contenders in L.A. continue to monitor Marcus Morris.
🏀 The Cavs are showcasing John Henson in an effort to trade him. He could be a decent third-string big on a playoff team.
A FORMALITY PASSES: Yesterday was the first day the Lakers could legally offer Anthony Davis a max extension, so they did so. And, as was expected, Davis turned down the extension and will hit free agency this summer.
💰 It was an easy call for both sides, as Davis basically turned down what would have been a four-year, $145.7 million extension and instead will be eligible to sign a five-year, $201.8 million deal this offseason. That’s if he signs with the Lakers, of course, which everyone still expects him to do.
ONE ALL-STAR DOWN: Blake Griffin had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee yesterday, which is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season.
SPEAKING OF ALL-STARS: The NBA All-Star weekend festivities are beginning to take shape, as Luka Doncic and Trae Young are reportedly set to be invited to this year’s Three-Point Contest, while D-Rose will do the Skills Challenge.
THREE AMIGOS: The Thunder have three point guards in Chris Paul, Dennis Schroeder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander playing at a very high level… together. When the trio shares the floor, they’re outscoring opponents by 26.7 points per 100 possessions, which is an absurd mark.
LOVE OPENS UP: Kevin Love spoke to the media yesterday, stating that he acted like a 13-year old rather than a 31-year old over the weekend, and that he’s not sure whether he’ll be in Cleveland for five more weeks.
SCHEDULE CHANGE UPDATE: The NBA is already rethinking their plan of making playoff reseeding one of their proposed schedule changes, though they still want to push the in-season tournament and postseason play-in games.
A FUN PAIR: As excited as basketball aficionados are for the return of 2019 No. 1 pick Zion Williamson, there’s a chance that no one is as hyped as Lonzo Ball, who said getting Zion back will be “amazing”.
HUMBLE STAR: Although Luka Doncic is putting up historic numbers seemingly every night, he’s not comfortable talking about his statistical accomplishments.
ANTI-LOAD MANAGEMENT: Anonymous league execs went off on load management to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, saying that it’s pretty much the same as asking not to go to work, and that the trend is becoming absurd.
CRAZY JOURNEY: The Athletic dropped a fantastic piece detailing Knicks interim coach Mike Miller’s unbelievable journey to landing one of the most coveted jobs in basketball.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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