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Tag:Trade Deadline
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Teams looking to make a move

Dwight Howard faces the most uncertain trade deadline of his career. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The winds are filled with whispers and disinformation. Fans are rattling trade machines and scouring salary lists. And most of the players in the league have a heightened anxiety while telling everyone they're oblivious to what's going on.

It's trade season.

With the deadline a week away, talks are ramping up, and while this is the most difficult trade deadline in years to predict in the way of volume of deals, the chatter is going to be the same as ever. Teams are at the point in the season where it's time to either head in a different direction, try and get over the hump, move towards the future, add that final piece, blow the whole thing up, or try and stay the course.

Some teams are above the fray. The rest will be on the phone. And some desperately need to get a deal done in the next seven days. With that, we present the Deadline Urgent Care Report, for teams that need to make a move now. It's time to trade or get off the block.


1. Orlando Magic: There's so much going on with this situation that no one really wants to talk about. It gets boiled down to a handful of narratives. "You have to rebuild if you're going to lose Dwight Howard." "You don't trade Dwight Howard until you absolutely have to." "You can't make decisions based on emotions." "Who really wants to rebuild around Brook Lopez?"

There's so much more going on. The health of their owner. Dwight's complex relationship with the city, with ownership, with Otis Smith, with Stan Van Gundy. To be sure, there's an impression given that Howard thinks he's beyond all of them at this stage in his career. But there's part of him that knows Smith took a chance on him. He knows Stan Van Gundy helped make him into the Defensive Player of the Year that he is. He knows Orlando has embraced him. This isn't an easy scenario in back and white lines.

But the reality remains. The Magic have to trade Howard if he is unable to give them a solid indication he wants to stay. Yes, Cleveland has rebuilt well without trading LeBron James. But it's less about what you get in return than it is about clearing space. Letting Howard go in free agency means you have a terrible team that's expensive. Trading him means the possibility of moving Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, or Glen Davis to alleviate the contract situation.

The Magic need to be looking to the future, trying to pull in as many young viable could-be-stars as possible, not bringing in veterans with large contracts or injury issues. They need to scrap it and start over. It's the quickest and most logical way back to title contention. Currently the odds are a pick 'em for if they'll trade him or not. At some point, despite how complicated the situation is, you have to move forward. Otherwise you're not saving yourself, you're just waiting to die.

Targets: Distributing wing creator, point guard upgrade.
Movable assets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson


2. Los Angeles Lakers
: It's pretty simple stuff, really. This team, as constructed, will most likey win a title. They can, but they probably will not. And that is not how the Los Angeles Lakers operate. They have movable stars, are willing to take on salary, and are in need of a face-saving move to try and redeem the decisions of the front office.

The trick for the Lakers is determining trade value. Pau Gasol was thought of as the best big man in basketball a year and a half ago. Now, he's a sidekick delicate shooter who fell apart in the playoffs. Andrew Bynum was a project with upside who you could still rationalize moving for something less than elite return. Now he's an All-Star who finally looks healthy. Do you see the problem? Gasol is better than his current value will allow in return and Bynum's current value is so high as to make it difficult to net equal return.

Furthermore, they need a star to put next to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard is there, but that situation has been temperamental. And it doesn't address their issues. A trade for Howard means they still have weaknesses at point guard and small forward. If the Lakers are going to do a deal, they need to pull in other teams to get some auxiliary talent back.

Targets: Dominant superstar option B, point guard upgrade, small forward who can hit water falling out of a boat.
Movable assets: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (?), Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes.


3. Boston Celtics:
It's. Over.

The run was good. It wasn't great, just one championship, two Finals, and for a collection of Hall of Famers, it's disappointing. But the reality remains, it's time for Boston to move on. Every indication is that Danny Ainge isn't looking to try and win a title this year through trade. He's aiming for down the line. The idea is to be in a position to make a big move should one come available, not try an force one with the older players currently on roster.

And still, a change is needed. They can definitely re-stock in free agency when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett's deals come off the books. But considering the value of both players, it would make sense to shop either or both in an attempt to get something of value now. Again, the idea is not to find players to win a title now, since they're not in that position. But to get players that will have value later to then move for those big pieces.

And then there's Rondo.

The enigmatic, temperamental shrouded in mystery and a faint air of disgust who drops triple-doubles to boggle the mind continues to be at the center of the Celtics' uncertainty. The Celtics took to the offensive last week to shoot down rumors they were looking at moving Rondo. But he's been discussed as a potential trade target for far longer than the past two weeks. Rondo has trouble scoring efficiently. He also possesses arguably the best vision of any point guard in the league, including Chris Paul. Can you build around him? Is his success a product of playing with three Hall of Famers? Is he limited by the Celtics' pace and lack of speed? The questions about Rondo have implications beyond whether to trade him or not. They also deal with how to build a team around him going forward if they don't trade him.

Targets: Versatile wings, on-ball creators, anything resembling a legitimate center.
Movable assets: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (?), Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal (expiring contract).


4. Atlanta Hawks:
Josh Smith still wants out. The roster is stale. Marvin Williams is movable, finally. Jeff Teague makes Kirk Hinrich expendable. There's every reason for the Hawks to be big players at the deadline, but as always, their ownership situation makes things complicated. Still, the Hawks have repeatedly made moves at the deadline over the years and Smith should get a high amount of offers.

Targets: Clearing salary, legitimate center, back-up scoring guard.
Movable assets: Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson.


5. Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors' new ownership has made big noise about change and bringing in stars, changing the culture. Instead they're largely the same team they have been for the past few years. They want to make a big splash. They have all the components to do so, it just matters how desperate they are. Expiring contracts, young stars on good contracts, versatility and depth. They have everything but a good roster. Fixing it will take more than a quick fix, but if they want to make a splash, the time is now.

Targets: Legitimate star, legitimate center, defensive backcourt and frontcourt upgrades.
Movable assets: Literally every player on roster.


6. Milwaukee Bucks:
Stephen Jackson has a huge contract, a bad attitude and a declining skill set. So clearly the market should be strong for him. The Bucks have wandered into no-man's land, not bad enough to land a star in the lottery, not good enough to make progress. But how do you remake a roster like this with a very specific outline for a blueprint? Brandon Jenning is the franchise player... is that a good thing? If Andrew Bogut can stay healthy they're a force... can he? They have depth that plays exceptionally well, is it worth selling high on them? It's a complex situation in Milwaukee.

Targets: Scoring, versatility, multi-dimensional impact.
Movable assets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Brandon Jennings (?), Andrew Bogut (?), Stephen Jackson.


7. New Jersey Nets:
They can wait on Dwight. But that's the kind of gamble that puts the fear of God in you. It's like telling your spouse, "Don't worry, honey. I've lost our car, our couch, our refrigerator, our bed and our life savings the last five times I've tried this gamble, but this time it's going to be different!" Nets supporters often point out that Billy King has made a number of four and five team trades. What they do not mention is how seldom his teams have gotten the better end of those deals. Not that his teams come out worse. But it's not like we're dealing with a stellar record.

The Nets have young players, but they're not very good. It's unlikely they'll panic should Howard stay put in Orlando, but it's going to make them break out the scotch. Expect their phone lines to be busy for the next week.

Targets: Dwight Howard. Pieces necessary to get Dwight Howard.
Movable assets: Anyone but Deron Williams.


8. Houston Rockets:
The Rockets are where they always are. Trying to get a star and building up assets to get a star they can never seem to land which makes them build up more assets to try and get a star. It's like an M.C. Escher painting.

Targets: Superstar to build around, low-post scorer.
Movable assets: Anyone for the right price.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:32 am
 

Mark Cuban says Mavs aren't making trade calls

By Matt Moore

The Mavericks have pretty much freaked everyone out. The Mavericks not only held off signing three of their major championship components to long-term deals, presumably because of the luxury-tax implications in two years under the new CBA, they didn't re-sign th
Mark Cuban says the Mavs won't be ringing up other teams at the deadline. (Getty Images)
em, period. They moved a trade exception to get Lamar Odom, despite knowing Odom has never really had a lot of success outside of the cocoon of L.A. and Phil Jackson (though there was absolutely no way to predict how many personal issues Odom would unfortunately undergo which have impacted his play). They are rumored to be pursuing Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, but if so, why aren't they active on the trade market? To put it the way one Western Conference exec told the San Francisco Chronicle
"I can't tell what Dallas is doing. I'm as confused as everybody else," one Warriors source said.
via Considering the Warriors' trade possibilities.

And the subterfuge continues. Mark Cuban himself told reporters before the Mavs' win over the Knicks that if fans are waiting for the Mavericks to dive into the trade pool with the deadline a week away, they shouldn't hold their breath.
If Mark Cuban can be believed, the Mavericks are only going to be players before the March 15 trade deadline if somebody blows them away with an offer.

It will not happen if teams are waiting on the Mavericks to start proposing deals.

"We're not calling anybody,'' Cuban said before Tuesday's game against New York. "I told Donnie (Nelson) to take calls, but we're not making any calls. There you have it.''
via Mark Cuban: Mavericks are not making trade calls | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News.

I know, I know. Cuban always says this. Teams always says this. Cuban said Saturday at the Sloan Sports Analytic Conference that they take pride in never letting trade talks leak. If we believed every GM, trades just spontaneously happen because no one ever calls anyone. But let's for the moment take his word. The Mavericks are closing in on a potential top-four seed and homecourt advantage in the first round. But from watching them, it's easy to see there's a big gap between them and the championship-caliber team of last year (in the shape of Tyson Chandler, specifically). And yet, the Mavericks remain painfully patient. So what gives?

Maybe it's the luxury tax and Cuban wanting to get space to make careful moves before the punitive measures take effect. Maybe it really is the big dream chase of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard in free agency, and wanting to boost Marion's value as much as possible. Maybe it's just a conceptual approach to flexibility. It may be smarter to simply allow yourself options down the road than aggressively pursue a plan.

But the fact remains, the Mavericks are baffling everyone and it's kind of freaking us out.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Celtics trade Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
Posted by Matt Moore and Royce Young




It's only fitting that in one of the biggest trade seasons in NBA history, that we ended the deadline in completely insane style. Multiple outlets including Yahoo! Sports first reported and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed that the Boston Celtics has traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a 2012 1st round pick. Here's our analysis of the trade (updating as more information becomes available). 

OKLAHOMA CITY RECEIVES: KENDRICK PERKINS, NATE ROBINSON
by Royce Young

There has always been a very specific ideology for Sam Presti in Oklahoma City. Build a group of young players that can grow and develop together. It started in 2007 when he took Kevin Durant No. 2 overall and acquired the fifth pick Jeff Green for Ray Allen. From there, the pieces started to fit.

And this Thunder team jumped way ahead of schedule, winning 50 games last season. Because of that, the slow development process sped up. There was an obvious opportunity to win now, and while the existing team was definitely good, there was always something missing.

Most of that centered around Green and his starting power forward spot. There always appeared to just be something missing there. He was undersized, didn't fit well next to Nenad Krstic and lacked on the glass and the defensive end. He could hit big shots and make big plays, but is was always clear that something wasn't right.

So Presti put his finger on the big red button and finally pushed it. He sent Jeff Green and Krstic to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.

A bittersweet say for Thunder fans as Green was a clear fan favorite. He was always close with teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. He was always seen as one of the core members of this group. But in the world where what counts is wins and losses, not how much fun you have and how well you get along off the court, it was a deal that had to be done.

The Thunder already was uncertain about Green's future, choosing not to sign him to an extension earlier in the season. He was set to become a restricted free agent this summer and even there, he was likely to get an offer that would be out of the Thunder's comfort zone.

While Perkins is also an unrestricted free agent, he fits what OKC would be willing to pay for. The Thunder tried to lock down a defensive-minded center two years ago when they traded for Tyson Chandler. But that deal was rescinded because of Chandler's physical and it put OKC back to work finding that help inside.

But what the Thunder did here was make a move for the now, finally. At the same time though, it doesn't jeopardize the future in any way. Green wasn't a sure thing in OKC anyway, and now Perkins gets a two month audition to earn a contract with the Thunder. OKC has improved itself against the beastly interiors of Los Angeles and Dallas and now can match up with anyone.

It came at a cost of sending out one of the city's favorite players and a close friend and teammate with Durant, Westbrook and Harden, but it had to be done. At some point, you've got to win. And the Thunder's trying to do it now. 


BOSTON RECEIVES: JEFF GREEN, NENAD KRSTIC, AND A 2012 FIRST-ROUND PICK (Top-Ten Protected)
by Matt Moore

This is going to go down as more about what Boston surrendered rather than what they got. They did not get an elite player back, so trading the franchise starting center who helped them win a championship and nearly a second had he not suffered a severe injury is going to raise a lot of voices in Beantown. The Celtics have always made it clear they are about winning championships at any cost.  They love the members of their organization, but this is a business, and their business is staying on top for as long as the Big 3's window is open. Something convinced them that Perkins was no longer able to lead them to a championship. So they flipped him and Robinson for what they considered their biggest need: a wing scorer. That he can serve as a stretch four, which is a considerable weakness to them as currently constructed, is a bonus. Green represents an odd representation: the move to win now, and to set themselves up for the future. 

Green is an RFA this summer, meaning they can decide whether or not to sign him based on whether he helps them win a championship or not. Krstic, on the other hand, is an expiring contract. Should they renounce both Green and Krstic, that's close to $10 million they're freeing up in the event of a dramatically lowered CBA, or if they feel the need to retool to go at a championship once more. If both help them win a second title with the Big 3, they can easily re-sign both to keep them in town. 

But at the end of the day, the Celtics surrendered Kendrick Perkins. Perk! The big man! The biggest reason that Boston was able to match up with Dwight Howard.  Now they'll be turning to a very old core of Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, and Krstic to try and combat Howard. That's a risky proposition. The Celtics do not lack for confidence. They must feel they can overcome the Heat, the Magic, and the Bulls without their starting center. Either that, or his knee was enough of an issue to force them to trade him.

Perkins only came back about a month ago from serious knee surgery that kept him out of the Finals' Game 7 last season. He has looked good at times but struggled in others. Tuesday night against the Warriors he tweaked the knee and did not return, limping off the floor. Two days later, he's traded to Oklahoma City. The Celtics may have felt they could not risk him going down to injury again, with how much their team depended on him. So they pulled in the taller, bigger, Krstic, who has a nice mid-range shot Perkins does not, and acquired a stretch four. 

Stretch fours have long disrupted the Celtics' defensive schemes, with players like Chris Bosh, Rashard Lewis, and LaMarcus Aldridge hurting them with their ability to hit from the mid-range, while Boston's defenders shade to the paint. Green can step out and defend those players, and also provides them a young, athletic option who can hit from the perimeter. Green's a gamble, though.

One element that's likely in play here is the Celtics' pushing for a player soon to be bought out. The most obvious target is Troy Murphy, traded to the Warriors from the Nets during their acquisition of Deron Williams in a separate deal. Murphy is expected to be bought out of his contract, and would provide a versatile big for the Celtics. If not Murphy, then another candidate could take his place, considering how much space the Celtics have cleared with this and other moves. 

This whole trade is a gamble, and it's not sure why the Celtics would risk their continuity after the year they've had. But one thing's for certain. Things have gotten even more interesting in the already wild Eastern Conference.


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Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Grading the trade of Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks. 
Posted by Matt Moore






Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports.  The Nets are also trading bigman Troy Murphy's expiring contract to the Warriors in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Brendan Wright. It's a stunning move that comes just days after the Nets failed to acquire Carmelo Anthony in last-minute talks at All-Star Weekend. Their efforts included a meeting with Mikhail Prokhorov that failed to convince the All-Star forward. But now, at long last, the Nets have their All-Star, the Jazz are rebuilding, and Deron Williams has the market he's obviously been longing for. 

So how did everyone do in this deal?

Deron Williams

Well, Deron, it's not New York, but it will be. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last weekend that Williams began telling associates last summer that he would look to join Amar'e Stoudemire in New York should Stoudemire sign with New York in free agency.  Now it would appear that Williams gets his wish to play in the world's biggest market, he'll just have to wait a year when the Nets relocate to Brooklyn.  He's playing with a point-guard friendly coach in Avery Johnson and he gets to work with his first true center in Brook Lopez. The only problem? It would appear Williams is not happy with the trade

The frenzy is going to be phenomenally loud for Williams on his way out.  Despite his denials, Williams was linked to a confrontation with Jerry Sloan that was followed immediately by his resignation. Williams is associated with running the 22-year-tenured head coach of the Jazz out of town, and is now bolting. We said that leaving in free agency would be a PR disaster for him afterwards, but this affords him the easy excuse of it being out of his hands. And at the end of the day, he still controls his destiny, able to sign or not sign an extension with New Jersey on July  9th.

Williams gets all the media frenzy that comes with this move, without the hoopla of "The Decision" or the drawn out pressure and exhaustive media scrutiny of Melo's ordeal. He gets the big market with a young core moving to take over Brooklyn as the second New York team, playing for a billionaire willing to spend to win. But he left a contending team for a rebuilding one, in a situation he's apparently not happy about. He may wind up pretty happy in the end, though.

Grade: B-

New Jersey Nets

There's two ways to look at this, and either way, the Nets win.

The first is the conspiracy theory that's going to be massively popular for the next month, which is that Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Nets, purposefully raised the price tag on Carmelo Anthony, forcing the Knicks to constantly buckle to higher and higher pricetags, eventually giving up foru starters and a pick for the All-Star forward. Then he turned around and acquried a better, younger All-Star for less. In Soviet Russia, Nets trick you! It's a far-fetched idea that requires a whole lot of dangerous maneuvering and a pretty petty rivalrly. Then again, the Nets put up a billboard outside MSG this summer.

The more reasonable theory is simply that word got passed to Prokhorov during the weekend that Williams was looking to get out and the Jazz were looking to move him for whatever reason.  The package they offered the Nuggets was gold. Absolute gold, and they had already come to terms with surrendering that much in exchange for an All-Star.  So when word got around that the Jazz would be amiable to it, the calls were made and it happened the same way you hear from a neighbor that his friend is looking to sell his car. His brand new, rocket-fueled gold car that he doesn't know how to drive. 

On the court, this isn't going to be perfect right away. Brook Lopez has struggled this season, and that's likely due to Avery Johnson, not Devin Harris. His rebounding is terrible, and his defense has regressed. But he's an effective scorer in the pick and roll, and he just got arguably the best pick and roll point guard in the league next to him. The Nets have shooters like Sasha Vujacic and Anthony Morrow. But they are very much still a work in progress. This isn't going to be seamless, and the Nets will have some growing pains. But this was still a huge upgrade for the Nets and a no-brainer. Because of a simple fact: Deron Williams is an All-Star.

"Get an All-Star." That's been the Nets' objective since this summer: obtain an All-Star, because they are what sells tickets and wins games. Now they have it. Harris was expendable, clashing with coach Avery Johnson. Derrick Favors is a high-upside rookie, but this team wasn't angling for the future. It wants to win now. It had the picks to throw in for this deal. This was a no brainer. They gave up a meager set of assets in the long run for an All-Star point guard to put them on the map. They're no longer a hard sell for free agents, they're no longer a joke to the media, they're a player in the market, with the ability to make themselves into a contender over the next two seasons. Just in time for Brooklyn.

Grade: A+

Utah Jazz

We're going to need to bring in the trauma counselors for the Jazz fans.  In two weeks, they've lost their franchise institution coach for 22 years, and their starting All-Star point guard.  They're now left with Devin Harris and three big forwards.  They've gone from a Western Conference title contender (in some circles), to a second-rate team that may struggle to make the postseason. And worst of all, they have no real star. But they do have a lot of potential. It's clear that this move signifies an admission from Jazz management that they were not going to be able to sign Williams to an extension, and rather than subject themselves to a year like the Nuggets have gone through or worse a year like Cleveland in 2012, they chose to simply get the most they could right now. 

And they got a lot. Harris isn't Williams, by any stretch, but he's a fine point guard, and could thrive on a team with more talent like the Jazz. Favors is high-upside and a little redundant next to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but that could also allow them to move one of the two of them before the deadline or in the summer. That kind of flexibility is important going forward, and the Jazz are no longer bound to try and compete for Williams. They can elect to rebuild or try and swing for the fences with what they have. The Jazz were high on Favors in the draft, hoping he'd fall to ten. Sometimes you get your guy, just later. 

But in the end, this spells the end of an era for the Jazz. Or at least, the death rattle after Jerry Sloan's resignation spelled the mortal wound to said chapter. Things will never be the same again for the Jazz. They had a Hall of Fame coach, an All-Star point guard many considered the best in the league, and the ability to build around him to try and win a title. Now they find themselves among Cleveland, Toronto, and Denver, albeit with a better set of assets. Just another small market torn asunder by the new exodus of stars to their big-market counterparts. 

Grade: B

More Winners and Losers:

Winners:
Brook Lopez: As mentioned above, Lopez is a huge winner here.  His numbers should go up with Williams next to him.

Avery Johnson: Johnson may have been under scrutiny after this season for underperforming but now with Williams his prospects raise considerably. Of course, if he doesn't get it done with Williams, that will pretty much be it for Johnson.

Brooklyn basketball fans: You had to be worried about what kind of team you were getting. Now you know. One with an All-Star point guard. 

The Western Conference: They've now lost two All-Star competitors in two days.

Loser:

James Dolan: Let's see. You gave up four starters and a pick when you're a pick short for a gunning small forward who plays mediocre defense.  Your rival gave up two picks they can afford to trade, a point guard they were looking to dump, and a rookie for one of the best point guards in the league. Oh, and you look like a moron for bringing in Isiah Thomas. Great week, Jimmy.

Tyrone Corbin: Good luck with that, chief. 

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers were looking to get Harris for Andre Miller. They're likely to stand pat now
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:52 am
 

Trade Deadline: Landry to Hornets for Thornton

Hornets trade Marcus Thornton to Kings for Carl Landry. We're not sure why.
Posted by Matt Moore

Multiple sources including NBA FanHouse and Yahoo! Sports are reporting that the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Hornets have agreed to a trade which would send Carl Landry to the Hornets in exchange for Marcus Thornton and cash. The deal is expected to be completed tomorrow.

We expected the Hornets to be active. And we expected them to look for frontcourt help. But Carl Landry? It's not that Landry's not a good player, he certainly was for Houston. He's got good touch around the basket and great effort. But he's also the 14th worst power forward in defensive rebound rate and the worst power forward at the same stat among players averaging 25 minutes per game. It's entirely possible that he'll explode next to Chris Paul, but what good power forward doesn't? The numbers aren't positive, however. 

Landry has averaged a 34% FG percentage in the pick and roll this season according to Synergy Sports. He shoots 49.6% out of the post, which is nice, but he also turns the ball over an astonishing 17.5% of the time there. Defensively, he hasn't been bad this season, but he's also struggled with a number of things, most notably in the post. He's surrendering a 50% FG percentage in the post this season, which is in the 25th percentile of the league. Not exactly great. 

Thornton is a bit more complicated. He hasn't gotten nearly as many minutes as Landry this year, as Monty Williams has not been impressed with him. But he's been effective at both ends of the floor for the Hornets, and should work well in Sacramento off the bench. He's been particularly good against the pick and roll defensively, although in a limited sample size. 

Thornton, though, holds the potential to be an explosive scorer.  He can really fill it up, hence the nickname, "Buckets." He's also the kind of player fans irrationally attach themselves to, so Sacramento's got that going for them. But the Hornets? They're basically hoping Landry becomes a defensive stalwart suddenly and keeps up his ability on the offensive glass while improving his defensive rebounding. Maybe working next to Emeka Okafor will bring out his best, but it's a stretch. Bodies matter for the playoffs, and Jason Smith is terrible, but when it comes down to it, the Hornets have gambled heavily here. 

The Hornets took a dive headed into the All-Star break, but more concering is their trade history, adding Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza, and Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton, Jerryd Bayless, and Darren Collison. If the end result is a long playoff push, great. If not? There will be some questions in the Big Easy.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:36 am
 

Nets contemplating Plan B if Melo falls through

Nets talking deal with Portland to swap Harris, Miller, Murphy, Przybilla. 
Posted by Matt Moore
UPDATE 2:33 a.m. EST: Well, obviously the Nets did not get Melo, so now they're going to have to come up with an alternate plan. Harris is going to be extremely prevalent in trade rumors from now through the deadline as the Nets know they have to move him now while he has value. The Blazers are clearly looking to move Andre Miller and have had interest in Harris for months. This could be the next domino now that Melo is gone. We'll have more on what the Anthony trade means for Denver on the Eye on Basketball blog. 

The New Jersey Nets are making a move one way or another. If they get Carmelo Anthony, great, awesome, good for them. If they don't, it looks like they have a plan they're formulating, except, it doesn't necessarily reflect a clear plan of action.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Nets are in discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers for an advanced framework of the previously discussed deal for the two teams to swap point guards, with Andre Miller going to New Jersey and Devin Harris to Portland. Berger also reports that the deal includes Joely Przybilla going to New Jersey and Troy Muprhy. The Blazers would also get a pick.

The deal as constructed does not work under current terms financially, so there has to be another element in play. What's odd is that instead of Portland cutting costs, this saves New Jersey money if it goes through, $17.8 million worth, before the third element to make the deal work. But more confusing is why New Jersey is sending a pick, their best player, and their largest expiring for a set of expiring contracts? Bear in mind that the Oregonian reports that should Przybilla be traded, he'll immediately seek a buyout. This is a whole lot of money the Russian is looking to dump in the event Melo does not go through for the Nets.

Meanwhile, the Blazers would think use Murphy to swap with Golden State, according to the Record. 

Speaking of which, this does not mean that they've given up on the Melo deal, nor does it mean this is their only option. It's clear that one way or another, the New Jersey Nets' roster will not be the same Thursday night as it is right now, if Billy King has anything to say about it.  
Posted on: February 18, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 12:00 am
 

Melo: 'I'm ready for this whole thing to be over'

Carmelo Anthony speaks at All-Star media availability, and affirms no meetings scheduled with Nets or Knicks. Melo says he's "ready for this whole thing to be over."
Posted by Matt Moore

In front of one of the largest media assemblies at All-Star Media availability, Carmelo Anthony faced the throng to speak about his current situation, while rumors fly as heavy as any in recent memory. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com was there to capture Melo's quotes in our live feed

As he played the verbal tango with the media, Anthony made one thing clear: he's tired of all this. ""There's some things that I'm still thinking about in the back of my head. I'm ready for this whole thing to be over with," Melo said, as he reasserted that he had not scheduled meetings with either the Nets' or Knicks' representatives. His frustration with the situation was evident behind his usual (this season, anyway) cool, collected demeanor. "I'm mindboggled right now about this whole situation," he said. "I just want to get this thing over with right now. I wish there was just something, a legit offer on the table and the Nuggets can say, 'Let’s get it done.'"

He did say however that an extension with the Nets, the matter which is reportedly holding a nine-player deal in pending , is not off the table. ""That's something I'm going to have to think about," but he noted "there are a lot of things that come into play when dealing with that. The superstar was very clear that he wasn't going to get boxed into any decision, and that staying in Denver is still a possibility.

"I've told you guys this since day one, that's still an option," Melo said in regards to the possibility that he would re-sign with Denver. He reasserted that he's said that continuously since the summer, while of course omitting that he's also turned down the opportunity to sign that extension since July. However, he did say he hadn't talked with Denver in months about that possiblity. "I haven't had that conversation since November or December, it doesn't surprise me. It just tells me what they’re trying to do, obviously they're trying to get younger and save money over there. At the end of the day, it’s a business so they’ve got to make a business decision. And I've got to look at it as my career and as a business decision."
"I can't really sit here and say I want to go here or I want to go there," Melo said on his preference between New York and New Jersey, remaining coy while admitting that he was "pretty sure" the Nuggets were negotiating with N.J., giving a little weight to the reports of the past day while still feigning ignorance. Melo did say he was examining the possibility of being traded without an extension. "It’s a lot of situations that I look at. If the Nuggets came to me and said, 'This is a deal that we have, this is another deal that we have', I would have to look into that if my option is not to sign."

But the idea of being a "rental" as Melo referred to it, should he be traded without an extension, does not appeal to him. "Unless they’re trying to get car services and want to rent a car. I really don’t want to have to be a rental. I don’t feel like I'm a rental player. I don’t want to go somewhere and be a rental for two months and then have to deal with this all over again. I dont want to go there."

For all the talk that Melo is the one who can control his destiny, he says that Denver has just as much control over where he ends up. While he can tell the Nuggets where he wants to go, Anthony says it's still their job to figure out what's best for them. "They have to do what’s best for them and their organization, too. So at the end of the day, they can say, forget it, we have to take care of our organization, Melo. He did what he had to do here for eight years, but we have to do what we have to do, too."

Anthony said that the Knicks have a different situation from the Nuggets, because in Melo's mind, the Nuggets are looking to rebuild, while the Knicks are already ready to win. "Far as building, which the Nuggets are trying to obviously do in their near future they’re trying to start all over and build up – and don’t try to flip it on me – but New York already has something there. I think the city is looking forward to briging back great basketball and they’re looking forward to that. So if that’s my destination then that’s something that I can bring to that city."


So if Melo's so big on New York, what would he be looking for in a meeting with Knicks' owner James Dolan? "Just something that I want to look in Mr. Dolan’s eyes and see if he’s really interested in me coming to New York or see if Mr. Prokhorov is interested in me coming to Jersey. Whoever I deal with I want to have a sitdoown with. That’s just proper etiquitte."

Anthony made clear that New York and New Jersey aren't the only options, however. "I don’t think they're the only two teams that I can sit here and say, "Yo, I definitely want to be on those teams or nobody else." The Nuggets have to weigh their options. If it’s a deal with somebody else that’s legit then we all have to sit down and hash that out and talk about it. But time is ticking, man, and time is money."

The most revealing quote from Anthony was that he wanted to see a "legit" offer by the end of the weekend. He's through sitting back and being accepting of what has been happening. "Before I leave here I would love to have something on the table. I would love to have an offer, a legit offer on the table where they can sit down with me and say, 'Melo, this is what we have. Let’s try to figure it out.' But as of late there’s been a lot of things that have been going on in the media, deals in the media that haven't been legit."

"I would love to have something happen this weekend. I would love to have a legit offer to sit down and figure it out."

After six months, this thing may finally be coming to an end. At least Anthony understands the media and fans are tired of it as well.

"This has been  a long process for me, for my family, just for everybody, I'm pretty sure it’s been a long process for you guys too, to have to wake up in the morning and deal with the Melodrama."

Maybe this weekend is the breaking point for all this nonsense to end. 
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Report: If Melo agrees, Nets deal in place

Report says a tentative Nets-Melo deal is in place, but as always, Melo still has to agree to extension which he has resisted for six months. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Bergen Record is reporting a tentative deal is in place for Carmelo Anthony to become a Net, pending Anthony's agreement to an extension -- a piece of paper that has become the most ballyhooed document outside of Congress. 

The deal is the same Ken Berger reported on Thursday evening and we discussed Thursday afternoon , reported now by the Record , ESPN , and Yahoo!. It features the Nuggets getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and Ben Uzoh, with a third team taking on Troy Murphy. No one's figured out a third team to take Murphy, so either the deal isn't as tentatively "done" as the Record  is reporting or the teams are agreeing to a deal that assumes something they can't really count on. Again, no surprises there, considering how botched this process has been from the beginning. 

So again, the ball is in Melo's court.

Berger reported early Thursday that no talks have been scheduled between Melo and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov nor with Knicks owner James Dolan. That could change between now and Thursday's media availability, for which we'll have full coverage. 

For Prokhorov to take this meeting is in and of itself revealing of his attitudes as an owner. Apparently enough was not enough. Despite Masai Ujiri playing with the Nets for up to six weeks, agreeing to deals then backtracking and wanting more, the Russian mogul is about to get in bed with Denver again, only this time he's giving up the largest collection of assets yet. It may be the best thing for his business, but you have to wonder how he'd feel about it were he to step back and realize how badly he's been jerked around so far, assuming these reports are accurate. 

Anthony, however, isn't running into this arrangement with open arms. He's having to be convinced to meet with the owner of a National Basketball Association team in a major market that's looking to build a championship around him. If he's convinced, it won't be his whole self that is convinced -- it'll simply be an understanding that this is a compromise that features two of his goals: to play in a bigger market and to get the extension before the CBA is renegotiated. 

And what will be left to help him after the Nets trade away nearly a third of their team? Billups, Vujacic, Humphries and Lopez, with Morrow, Farmar, Outlaw and Stephen Graham off the bench. GET EXCITED, NEW JERSEY. For the remaining year you have before the team bolts to Brooklyn. 

This situation is as perplexing as ever, and should it fall through, Donnie Walsh may need oxygen because he'll be laughing so hard. 



 
 
 
 
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