Tag:Denver Nuggets
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:52 am
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Game Changer: Have the Mavs stopped scoring yet?

Posted by Royce Young

THE BIG ONE: DALLAS DESTROYS NEW YORK

After the big trade, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire talked a lot about how the Knicks were going to play defense.

Starting tomorrow, I guess.

Against the Mavericks, the Knicks were steamrolled early, giving up 72 points at the half en route to a 127-109 whipping at the hands of a rolling Dallas squad. Since Dirk Nowitzki's return, the Mavs are 20-3 and have taken solid control of the two-seed in the West.

New York, coming in winners of two straight on the road, just didn't stand a chance. The Knicks got their scoring from Amar'e (36 points), but lacked getting it from Melo (18 on 5-15 shooting). Tony Douglas and Landry Fields both had nice games and Shawne Williams had a quality night off the bench, but scoring wasn't the problem. Stopping someone was.

The Mavs got 53 points off their bench, led by super sixth man Jason Terry's 21. Brendan Haywood showed his worth filling in for Tyson Chandler who was strapped with foul trouble all night. And Corey Brewer provided a nice little spark, playing intense defense while scoring eight points.

Dallas is a clicking unit, while the Knicks are a group that has no idea what they are. The Mavs have it all settled, and with Rodrigue Beaubois returning, they just got stronger. The Knicks are good, they have talent and ability. But they don't know what they are. They want to play defense, they want to get stops but words don't play defense. And New York's defense Thursday was plain awful.

MIAMI GETS DEFENSIVE IN CRUNCH TIME

With a minute and a half left and we were right back at that same old place. The Heat were in a tight game and somehow, they had to figure out a way to finish. Against the defending champs nonetheless.

The game was tied at 88-88, Lakers with possession. With possession and Kobe Bryant on their team, mind you. The Heat were doing a better job of executing the past few minutes, but the game was still a total grind on both ends, for both teams. Decent looks were at a premium and baskets were rare.

And with all the focus on the Heat's inability to close games -- notably on the offensive end -- they finally stepped up in crunch time. But on the other side of the floor. A wild scramble resulted in a run out for Miami with Dwyane Wade leading to LeBron James for a dunk. 90-88, timeout Lakers.

But that's no good unless you get another stop. Scoring is good, stopping is better.

The next Lakers possession, Ron Artest fired a corner 3 that missed. Ball out to Los Angeles. It's passed in to Kobe who took what you can only call a curious contested 3 from the corner which airballed. Artest gathered the rebound but missed a bunny at the rim. Miami escaped three looks from the Lakers and had possession with 60 seconds left.

Again, here's where Miami had to overcome some demons. Finding a way to put this little leather ball in that rim had become quite the challenge for this gifted group. And the Heat went with a wonderful play that had LeBron setting an on-ball on Kobe, which Wade false-stepped off of, going left, uncontested, to the rim. Heat 92, Lakers 88.

And then a funny thing happened. It was almost like the two teams swapped jerseys. Kobe fumbled a good pass of of bounds (he was probably fouled, but in this game, who wasn't?), relinquishing possession back to Miami. Wade returned the favor, losing his handle out of bounds but Kobe took yet another odd shot, a wild 29-foot 3 that missed long. Artest fouled LeBron off the ball, James sunk his two free throws and that was basically that. Heat 94, Lakers 88.

Read the rest of how Miami locked down on L.A. and what it means going forward.

THAT'S CERTAINLY A FORM OF CRUNCH TIME OFFENSE

With the Heat needing a stop and a score in the worst way possible, Miami stepped up and got it. All in one swoop.

DENVER... WINS AGAIN

If you thought the Nuggets were fun to watch with Carmelo, you're right, they were. But in terms of basketball, moving the ball and playing together, the current incarnation is a pure joy.

Denver shared the ball all over against Phoenix Thursday, piling up 28 assists as the Nuggets pounded the Suns 116-97. Five players scored in double figures for Denver with no one scoring more than 22 (Nene). It was all balanced. The Nuggets ran at every opportunity, moved the ball and made shots. It was kind of a clinic.

The Nuggets were supposed to fade down the stretch after trading Melo, but they continue to impress. The new guys quickly bought in and while they may not have the big guns to really win in the playoffs, they are certainly a tough group to top right now.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Amar'e Stoudemire: 36 points in 13-27 shooting. Defense though? Bad.

Marcin Gortat: 14 points and 18 rebounds, but in a losing effort to Denver.

Nene: 22 points on 9-12 shooting.

Ty Lawson: 20 points and 11 assists.
Posted on: March 8, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Nuggets sign coach George Karl to extension

The Denver Nuggets have signed head coach George Karl to a contract extension. Posted by Ben Golliver. george-karl

We're seeing an interesting pattern developing in the Northwest Division: over the last week, three teams in flux have moved to stabilize their future by locking up their head coach to a long-term contract extension.

First, on March 2, the Utah Jazz extended coach Tyrone Corbin's deal in the wake of Jerry Sloan's resignation and the trade of franchise point guard Deron Williams. Then, earlier Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers extended coach Nate McMillan's contract following another season squandered due to a string of injuries, including to potential franchise players Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.

Tuesday afternoon, the Denver Nuggets joined the list, extending the contract of head coach George Karl just weeks after the team traded franchise forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks.

ESPN.com reports that "George Karl and the Denver Nuggets have agreed to terms on a new contract extension, according to league sources. Exact terms of the deal are not known, but one source said the multiyear extension is worth at least three years." 

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that it is a three year deal with team options for a fourth, fifth and potentially sixth year.
The deal has team options for the fourth, fifth, and sixth years, said Karl's attorney, Bret Adams -- a huge commitment from the Nuggets at a time when coaches have so little job security. 
"I think with this team, they just have great confidence that this is a team that's coachable and there's not a more experienced or better coach to do it than George," Adams said. "They stuck with him last year with the cancer, and to take it the next step with this long-term commitment, I don’t think George could be any happier with his future. He wanted to be there, they wanted him there, and with this team it's a whole new re-energized George after the trade."
The deal obviously gives Karl a significant measure of job security and personal stability, and it comes less than a year after Karl missed Denver's playoff run last season while battling cancer. Given the Nuggets' success and Karl's ability to overcome a life-changing health ordeal and a franchise-altering player depature make this is about as fairy tale an ending as an NBA coaching extension can get.

Basketball-wise, Karl's situation is very similar to McMillan's, as both work for first-year GMs, both boast consistent, winning track records and both are now at the helm for franchises that enter next season with new self-perceptions now that their star players have either been traded (Carmelo Anthony) or limited significantly by injury (Brandon Roy). Both relish the underdog role and have been recognized for their ability to coach overachieving teams through adversity. As it happens, McMillan played for Karl in Seattle and there's a certain poetic justice that their contract extensions are announced on the same day. 

Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri drew praise for the package of players he finally received after months of trade rumors involving Anthony, and he certainly deserves praise here. An extension for Karl was expected after weeks of hints about a forthcoming agreement, but locking up a top-tier coach should never be taken for granted and the added measure of flexibility with the extra team options is just the icing on the cake. Without Anthony, Ujiri needed something to sell to his current players and free agent targets and, if only temporarily, Karl has now become the face of the organization. Masai was brought on board to help Denver navigate towards its post-Carmelo future; with Anthony traded and Karl locked up, Masai's first two missions are accomplished. Now, he can really get to work on the future.
Posted on: March 4, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 5:03 pm
 

The race for 8 in the West

Posted by Matt Moore

First-round fodder. Opening round patsies. Target practice. These are the kinds of terms used for the low playoff seeds each year. The NBA, more than any other sport, crowns a legitimate champion each year, in large part due to the difficulty of lesser teams to overcome better teams in a seven-game series. As a result, when you have eight teams from each conference to make the playoffs, you're going to have a whole lot of beatdowns. And we'll certainly see the same this year, with the conferences more top-heavy than ever.  So in reality, the 6-7-8 seeds are largely irrelevant in the discussion of basketball that "matters."

But at the same time, making the playoffs is at once a huge reward for some teams and a dangerous development for others. In the realest sense, making the playoffs is a good thing. To put it simply, it means more money. More money for management, more money for ownership, more money for players. It gives the fans the experience of games that "matter" and pride in being in that tier of players. Often times, it's necessary to satisfy a fanbase's need for a team to legitimize itself, to throw the fans a bone. And at the end of the day, it means winning, and that's what sports is about.

But there's a downside. Making the playoffs can create a false sense of progress, convincing teams who are in need of a revamp that they are headed in the right direction. It becomes a crutch financially, forcing teams to make desperation moves to make the playoffs only to be swept out, which gets to be a huge detriment in fans' attitude after a few years, even worse than not making the playoffs.

In the West this year, we have a nice combination of both sides of the coin, and the answers to whether the playoffs are a good or bad thing is unclear. But there's a fascinating group vying for those final seeds as we head down the stretch, like lambs vying for the slaughter.

THE NEAR-LOCKS

Denver Nuggets

Outlook: 37-26.  The Nuggets lost Melo, and have now won three straight. They are sharing the ball, playing with emotion, fighting in tough games, making the plays they need to in order to win, and invigorating the fanbase. But they have yet to face an elite team.  In the next month, they have Orlando, Miami, San Antonio, and Atlanta. So there's going to be some discovery in terms of who the Nuggets are. They're riding a huge wave of emotion following the trade, but there's a question if that's going to hold. They do have a four game advantage over the ninth seeded Suns, but that's not a monstrous gap. With Memphis improving and Portland having acquired an All-Star, the Nuggets could find themselves in a dogfight very quickly if things change. But with Ty Lawson emerging with Aaron Afflalo, Nene holding down the middle and George Karl coaching his rear off, you have to like Denver's chances to at least make the playoffs.

Best-case scenario: They make the playoffs as the fifth seed following a huge fall by the Hornets, and wind up pushing Oklahoma City around due to their relative inexperience. A great playoff run sets them up for the future as a core that plays together, even without a star.

Worst-case scenario: The emotion runs out, the injuries pile up, and the team winds up in the lottery where they only have about seven tradeable assets, extra picks and cap flexibility. So pretty much, Denver's okay no matter what.

Portland TrailBlazers

Outlook: 34-27.  The Blazers just added a former All-Star in Gerald Wallace to make a push for the playoffs. They sloughed off very little salary, so they must make the playoffs. It's imperative for Paul Allen all the way down to the fans. They have to make the playoffs, make some money, and give the fans some hope in a season that's seen massive injuries. Again. They Blazers were at a position to either bail on the current core and rebuild or make a big push for the future. They chose to try and win now.


Ten of the next fourteen games for the Blazers are against current playoff teams. The going gets tough from here on out and the Blazers will be fighting tooth and nail to hang on to their spot.

Best-case scenario: A sixth seed appearance versus the Lakers, leading to a seven-game push to make a statement against the rivals. Blazers fans will tell you that they have a chance against the Mavericks. Blazer fans, as much I love them, are wrong. The Mavs are too good, too deep, and can match up too well with the Blazers.  Besides, wouldn't pushing the Lakers be more satisfying for Blazers fans?

Worst-case scenario: Not making the playoffs is a disaster to the degree that it's nearly inconceivable. If it were to happen, it would be simply horrific for the franchise at all levels. A more likely worst-case scenario is winding up in the 8th spot and getting swept by the Spurs. A first-round sweep would be severely disappointing for how emotional this season has been for the Blazers, especially after bringing in Wallace.

Memphis Grizzlies


Outlook: 34-28. Not a lock, by any means, but Memphis is making a strong push. They're on a roll, offensively and defensively, and this is without Rudy Gay. They've added Shane Battier and Leon Powe since the deadline, giving them much improved depth, and having Jason Williams as an actual viable back-up PG helps tremendously. The Grizzlies finally have a bench, O.J. Mayo actually looks better after his suspension, the team is playing together, and everything looks right for them to make a push. But of the next 14 games for Memphis to finish March, 12 are against current playoff opponents and one is against Utah, the 10th seed. These aren't weak playoff teams, either, with the Hornets, Spurs, Heat, Magic, Celtics, Mavericks, and Bulls among them. If Memphis makes it out of April in the same position they're in now, they'll be a lock. If not, they could plummet.

Best-case scenario: A first-round matchup against the Lakers in a 2 vs. 7 seed battle, with the Lakers still in cruise control, as the Grizzlies manage to win one in L.A. and one in Memphis to force a six-game series. That's a huge step for the franchise rebuilding from the Pau trade. Bringing the Lakers in for the playoff games is great for revenue, but terrible for home support as half the crowd would be bandwagon Lakers fans. Any other matchup simply wouldn't draw as well for the team, which says a lot about the fanbase itself.

Worst-case scenario: Missing the playoffs isn't a huge deal versus getting swept. Even without their 2011 first-rounder, the Grizzlies have a solid core for the future and some options for what they want to do. But making the first round of the playoffs as an eight seed, drawing San Antonio, and getting swept in a poor draw matchup to keep revenue low and the franchise without a playoff win? That's the worst of all worlds.

THE LONGER SHOTS

Phoenix Suns


Outlook: How are they still here? They lost Jason Richardson, gained Vince Carter, have very little to rely on and are still hanging around at 31-28, just a game and a half back of the Grizzlies. Phoenix just doesn't know when to quit and with this group of veterans, they could be dangerous down the stretch. If you want to bet against Steve Nash, you go right ahead. I'll be over here. The Suns' schedule isn't tremendously difficult to go from here on out, but with their style, that's not necessarily a good thing. The Suns are 7-8 against "average" teams in the league, so there's no way of knowing how they'll do night to night.

Best-case scenario: Missing the playoffs. Missing the playoffs might prompt a full blow-up from management which would benefit the Suns long-term and push them away from NBA purgatory, constantly floating around the eighth seed. A full revamp with Alvin Gentry at the helm may lead to some progress and some moevement towards another shot at contention down the line. But given Robert Sarver's history, he wants that playoff dough.

Worst-case scenario: Making the eighth seed and getting blown out of the water by the Spurs. After the cathartic release for the fans last year in beating the Spurs, losing to San Antonio again would crush them. So there's that. A four game sweep by any of the top seeds would be extremely likely and extremely disappointing.

Utah Jazz


Outlook: 32-30. Watch out for flying wheels. The Jazz can't contend with the juggernauts, and are even bleeding against mediocre teams. The Jazz knew they'd be rebuilding after Deron Williams, but their playoff odds are spiraling out. The future's bright, but things don't look great for the Jazz making the playoffs at this point. The good news is the Jazz have a weaker schedule than most of their competitors.

Best-case scenario: A solid run as the team starts to gel, makes the playoffs and manages to avoid playing the Lakers. Even getting swept by San Antonio would be preferable to losing to L.A. at this point. Making the playoffs puts faith back in the franchise and gets the team more money.

Worst-case scenario: Missing the playoffs after the promise of this season would be devastating. Getting blasted out of the first round by L.A. would be similarly upsetting, even though the revenue would be nice. But missing the playoffs seems like a very real possibility at this point.

Honorable Mention: The Rockets could make a run. They've started defending better and moving Aaron Brooks has helped them in serious ways.  But they're four games back, and that's a steep hill to climb for a team without a true star, with a defense that's still sub-par. They have to be considered the longest shot, and not just for current position.
Posted on: March 4, 2011 10:38 am
 

Carmelo says goodbye to Denver, briefly

Carmelo Anthony leaves letter on website to Denver fans, short and not very sweet. 
Posted by Matt Moore

It's part of the whole ritual. Ditch the team that drafted you, leaving the franchise in pieces, struggling to find a future, talk constantly for days about how happy you are to be on your new team in your new surroundings, then draft a half-hearted letter to the fans thanking them for their support so they'll continue to buy shoes. Sound cynical? Perhaps, but even a bleeding heart like Bambi's mother would find Carmelo Anthony's letter to the fans in Denver, posted on his website Thursday, a little less than emphatic. 
"A Note to My Denver fans Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM by Admin
I had to let you know how I felt about you, the city, my fans, my friends. You've been supportive of me and my NBA career for the past 8 years and that doesn't go unnoticed.
Drafted when I was 19 I called Denver and the Nuggets my home. The city and the fans embraced me and watched me grow as a man and a player.
There are no words to express the gratitude and appreciation I have for Denver, the Nuggets and all the fans.
You will always be a part of my heart.
One Love, Melo"



Well, gosh, Melo.  When you put it that way, it really does make is seem as if you couldn't even bother to mention anything about Denver specifically. This feels less like a heartfelt letter to the fans who have spent their heard-earned money to support him for eight years and more  like the kind of note you'd leave a roommate to make sure they forward your mail. 

Oddly enough, it seems like Melo pretty much just copied what Amar'e Stoudemire had posted on his website when he left the Suns this summer, including referencing arriving as a 19-year-old. Stoudemire finished in his more, but that's no surprise. Stoudemire actually acted like the fans mattered to some degree on his way out of town.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 3, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Nuggets finding gold, while Jazz sing the blues

Posted by Royce Young



A week ago, two franchises completely turned themselves upside down. Two franchises sent their faces, their breadwinners, their ticket-sellers, their superstars , to another team.

Bold moves, both.

For one, it was absolutely necessary. For the other, it was a preemptive strike before it became absolutely necessary.

But a week later, the presence -- or lack thereof I suppose -- of Carmelo Anthony in Denver and Deron Williams in Utah is still felt. In different ways though.

The two teams face off Thursday night in a battle of the now superstar-less franchises, but also the game is quietly still important in terms of the Northwest Division. You may have assumed that both teams were going to just pack everything up after dealing their best players, but that assumption would be wrong. There are still games to be played, and more importantly, games to be won. Big ones, at that.

Take a look at the Nuggets. Seven days after trading Chauncey Billups and Melo, the two main players that have led the Nuggets to seven consecutive playoff appearances and even a Western Conference Finals berth in 2009, Denver has gone 4-1 with the lone loss coming in Portland in overtime.

Anthony and Billups helped spot the Nuggets with 32 wins prior to the All-Star break, but it's not like the new construction is just mailing the final two months in. Danilo Gallinari (though he's injured currently), Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler have fit right in to George Karl's system and not only are the Nuggets playing differently, you could argue they're actually playing better. Instead of the primary isolations, the Nuggets play team basketball to the greatest extent. They move the ball, cut, penetrate and shoot. They play together. Which is astounding seeing as half the team is still probably trying to figure out how to pronounce each other's names.

The Nuggets may have actually found something when they dealt Anthony. The team has always embraced George Karl's up-and-down style, but has never been accused of playing much defense. But with the Melodrama finally over, it almost looks like a massive weight has been lifted off the entire city's shoulders.

Karl is smiling a whole lot more, the players seem much more together and some of the new guys are really fitting well into the new system. Wednesday, the Nuggets pounded Charlotte by 40! So I think it's safe to say these guys have banded together.

I almost get the feeling that Karl and the Nuggets are sailing without a sail. They're rudderless. They're just kind of throwing it all out and there with really no idea what's supposed to happen. One night, they're a defensively focused. The next, they try and outscore you. They have no idea what that are, and that's what makes them so fun. One thing they do know: Carmelo Anthony is not part of it, and I almost think that excites them. And the fanbase.

Of course, things catch up a lot of times and in a league where stars win, the Nuggets are currently without one. Nene is a nice player, Chandler is an above average scorer and Gallinari is the definition of a tough cover. But past this season, no one knows what their construction will be. There are a lot of questions to be answered but with the way the group has come out of the gates, the case could be made that a quality core is there.

On the other hand, the Jazz are sliding. But that was happening well before Williams was dealt to New Jersey though. The team is just 1-3 since the deal and can't seem to figure out how to stop anyone. In the four games, Utah is giving up an average of 107.2 points per game and that included the win in which it held Indiana to just 84 points.

Denver made a deal to try and stay competitive while also opening the door to rebuild. Utah, sort of cashed all its chips in. Which is really odd considering the Nuggets were really the only team here having their hand forced.

The Jazz got some first-round picks, Derrick Favors and Devin Harris back for Williams, which isn't enough to keep them in the playoff hunt this season. They've slipped from division contender to now 10th in the West and 1.5 games out of eighth. And with the Grizzlies winning, that gap should widen in the coming weeks.

But it's a necessary pain for the Jazz, or at least in general manager Kevin O'Conner's mind. It was better to do this now than suffer the way the Nuggets have. At least that was the thinking. Granted, it's early and the Nuggets are just a five-game losing streak from potentially joining the Jazz near the bottom of the division, but ironic that Masai Ujiri's apparent bumbling, indecisive way of handling the Melo situation actually has his team in better shape than the preemptive strike launched by the Jazz.

Utah forfeited two final months with Williams that almost certainly would've resulted in a playoff berth and at least half a season for the 2011-12 campaign. Instead of milking every possible win it could out of Williams in the way Denver did with Melo, the Jazz folded on the first hand. The Nuggets made their play on the river, and it's turned out to look pretty good. So far, of course.

In the madness that was the 2011 trade deadline though, two teams made the most noise in terms of exporting. Denver and Utah told their stars to pack and both got quality deals in return. But right now, it looks like one squad may have re-discovered itself, while the other might just be slipping farther down the rabbit hole.

So Thursday night when the two teams lock up in Salt Lake, you'll be looking at two franchises certainly in flux, but headed in opposing directions. But what's surprising is which team is headed up, and which is headed down.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:07 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 12:12 am
 

Nuggets F Gallinari fractures toe, out 7-10 days

The Denver Nuggets report that forward Danilo Gallinari has fractured his toe and will miss at least a week. Posted by Ben Golliver. danilo-gallinari-den

When the New York Knicks traded for Nuggets All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, one of the big questions we raised was how forward Danilo Gallinari would adapt to live in Denver. 

After a slow start in limited minutes in his debut for the Nuggets on Thursday, Gallinari exploded for 30 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, and nearly hit what would have been a game-winning three-pointer.

That positive momentum took a sidestep on Monday night, when the Nuggets announced that Gallinari had fractured his toe and will miss at least a week.
Nuggets F Danilo Gallinari has a fractured big toe & will be out 7-10 days.
The news came as an update to a previous report which said he suffered a "sprained toe" when stubbing his foot against the Blazers. The injury forced him to miss Monday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Even without Gallinari, the new-look Nuggets defeated the Hawks, 100-90, on Monday night. 

On the season, Gallinari is averaging 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34.6 minutes per game.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 9:20 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 7:21 pm
 

NBA trade deadline: Thursday Buzz at the deadline

A one-stop shop for all of Thursday's NBA trade deadline buzz. Posted by EOB Staff.  trade-deadline  

Wednesday was insane. That's the only word for it. Insane. And we have more stuff on the horizon.

Here's a list of everything that's happened thus far:

- Boston sends Marquis Daniels to Sacramento for cash [ANALYSIS]

- Gerald Wallace goes to Portland [ANALYSIS]

- In a big one, Kendrick Perkins goes to Oklahoma City [ANALYSIS] ; [TRADE TRACKER]

- Aaron Brooks goes to Phoenix for Goran Dragic [ANALYSIS]

- Hasheem Thabeet was sent to the Rockets [ANALYSIS]


(Latest Buzz)
  • With just minutes to go before the deadline, here's a potential big fish. ESPN.com reports: Sources close to the talks told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have been discussing trade scenarios Thursday that would send Jamison to Oakland. One source briefed on the talks said the discussions are ongoing but that no trade agreement has yet been reached.
  • Two dark horses in the Western Conference have come forward in the Anthony Parker talks, via KB
  • The Rockets are bearing down to try and get Marcus Camby, via KB . All attempts to extricate Camby have failed thus far, but the Rockets and Blazers have been talking for a while.  
  • Two dark horses in the Western Conference have come forward in the Anthony Parker talks, via KB
  • Yahoo! reports the Cavaliers are still chasing offers for Anthony Parker, but it's getting late in the afternoon to be toying around. Celtics still in the tent. 
  • KB reports the Bobcats turned to the Rockets and Cavaliers after talks with the Blazers broke down for Gerald Wallace. Cleveland's not interested, and must be shopping only for draft picks.
  • Via ESPN , talks broke down today of a move to send Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier for Marcus Camby. Portland is pretty much submarining all of its talks, wanting huge return.
  • ESPN reports that the Kings are interested in a point guard. The Bobcats, Celtics, Jazz are in talks. 
  • Via ESPN.com, the reason Charlotte's deal with Portland slipped apart was the Bobcats insistence on Nicolas Batum being involved.
  • Per NBA.com: Suns won't trade Dudley. Contenders including BOS and CHI were interested.
  • Sam Amick reports : "Because the Sacramento Kings are under league minimum payroll, they're on lookout for a trade in which they get cash to cover salary of player coming back."
  • KB reports it's either for Brooks or Jared Jeffries, and that picks are being discussed. This looks like a terrible deal for Daryl Morey from the onset. 
  • We said earlier Jonny Flynn was on the market. Apparently the Rockets, for some bizarre reason, are aiming at getting him according to ESPN . This would surely have to be in conjunction with moving Aaron Brooks for something, otherwise the Rockets are spending assets to acquire a sub-par point guard. 
  • T.J. Ford could be headed for a buyout, according to Berger . Miami and Portland have interest. Portland is particularly interesting since it could be a sign they're still looking to move Andre Miller. This would be the second Pacer bought out in two years, after Jamal Tinsley last year. 
  • The Celtics could be up to your typical shady trade-buyout-re-sign deal, but this time it's even more shady considering the circumstances. Ken Berger reports that the Celtics, having had no luck getting anyone to bite on Nate Robinson plus a pick, are considering moving Marquis Daniels. The deal is of course structured to have the team take on Quisy's salary, then buy him out, at which point he re-signs with the Celtics. But with Daniels out after a scary neck injury, that may not happen should he be unable to return this season. Still, trading the guy who had a spinal injury on your squad? 
  • ESPN reports that Toronto has made rebounding Reggie Evans, within sight of returning from injury, available. He could garner some quick floods of interest, given his veteran status and rebounding ability. 
  • Ken Berger reports that with the Sixers on a win streak, Andre Iguodala is off the market. Because, really, a three-week win streak is what you want to make decisions off of. 
  • Chris Vernon of 730 AM in Memphis reports that there have been discussions between Houston and Memphis regarding a swap involving Shane Battier and Hasheem Thabeet. There are obviously other pieces involved as Shane Battier is a good player and Hasheem Thabeet is not, but the conversations are open, though not close. The Commercial Appeal reports the trade involves Memphis also sending a first round pick to Houston, which is too much for an aging Battier. Which means Memphis will probably do the deal.
  • ESPN reports that the Mavericks plan to make a last-ditch effort at Tayshaun Prince today before the deadline. It's a perfect fit for the Mavericks, but for whatever reason, the Pistons are turning down every advance for Prince. Because, really, when you're facing a rebuilding effort, you want to keep those big, long-term contracts as long as possible. Dallas is also reportedly interested in J.R. Smith.  Apparently they fill they have a need at "crazy two-guard."
Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Melo Trade: Is there a case for collusion?

Carmelo Anthony joins Amar'e Stoudemire in New York. Thing is, that's becoming for a while, and we know that because... Amar'e told us so.
Posted by Matt Moore




On July 4th, 2010, Amar'e Stoudemire, before he signed with the New York Knicks, spoke to reporters outside of a Broadway show he was catching during his visit with the Knicks. It should have been a simple quote. "Excited to look at my options, happy to visit New York, it's a great city, blah blah blah." Instead, Amar're dropped this. 

"I've talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here," Stoudemire said. "I've talked to Tony Parker. Both guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here. So we will see if we can work it out."

This got slipped by national media because it was July, in the NBA, July 4th, a holiday, and because everyone in sports media was focused on LeBron James and anything he would do.  And hey, it was crazy. When would multiple All-Stars ever team up, right? Right?

You know the punchline, there. 

But as we stand here nearly eight months later, you've got to look at this. You have an All-Star, before he signed with the Knicks, telling another All-Star who is under contract with another team that he needs to come out and join him on the Knicks. Eight months later, Anthony forces a trade to the Knicks. 

Tampering and collusion have been hot topics in the NBA since the Heat formed this summer. The Cavs considered a lawsuit againt the Heat for tampering with LeBron. And the league had to comment on the issue of collusion this summer, saying they would not get involved. But in the reflection of the Melo deal, the question has to be asked. 

Was how the Melo acquisition occurred within the peramters of NBA policy?

There is Stoudemire, on record, during conversations with the Knicks, openly stating he is lobbying for Anthony to join him. From that moment on, the Anthony-to-New-York talk snowballed into a frenzy, then caught fire and threatened to swallow us whole in a black mass of hype, suffocating us beyond all... sorry. It was  arough few months. Nonetheless, we can trace back what we saw at the introductory press conference for Melo as a Knick back to this comment in July, which garnered little scrutiny. It's time for people to take notice. These events are not occuring organically, they're not being conducted in good faith. Players have their agendas, and the teams involved may or may not have been involved in the influence of one player upon another.  This isn't to say New York was behind Amar'e's comments to Melo, there's absolutely no proof of that.

But we do see this. 
1. Player A talks to New York in free agency.

2. Player A tells media he's called Player B, who's under contract with another team, and tells him to join him in New York. 

3. Player A signs with New York.

4. Player B has representatives leak to media that he wants to be traded and New York is his only option due to his leverage with his upcoming free agency.

5. Player A says he has not talked to Player B about the situation, suspiciously. 

6. Player B is traded to New York.

That's a pretty suspicious line of events for nothing to have gone on. Players are not being slick with this at this point, because the league has made it clear it's not going to get involved in such discussions. But in the interest of competitive fairness, it has an obligation to its owners in these markets who are now bleeding All-Stars toward New York to ensure that everything is being conducted within the confines of NBA policy.

This isn't to say there's anything wrong with allowing it. It's every player's right to want to work where they want to, and their right to talk to whomever they wish. As long as the teams aren't involved, there's nothing wrong with allowing this kind of thing. But in that instance, the league needs to make a statement that there's no problem with players impacting players currently under contact.  Amar'e wasn't a Knick yet, so there's a possibility he could have wound up somewhere else had talks gone differently. But they didn't, and he is. And now so's Melo. 

For the fans of the other 23 teams outside of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Miami, you have to wonder if there's something amiss in how things are being handled. 
 
 
 
 
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