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Tag Archives: Carmelo Anthony
It began as a great night in Cleveland with the LeBron James returning to play for the Cavaliers, but it was Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks who stole the show defeating the the Cavs 95-90 in front of a frenetic, sellout crowd at The Q. Here’s how “The King” assessed his 5-15fg performance for 17 points with 8 turnovers at his locker after the game.
THE TOP FIVE
1 San Antonio Spurs – Defending champs, Tim Duncan comes back at a discount price to help keep Boris Diaw and Patty Mills and the team stays intact. The favorites to start the season for sure.
2 Oklahoma City Thunder – While they lost veterans Sefalosha and Butler, they added shooting guard Anthony Morrow in free agency who is a career 43% shooter from beyond the arc and picked up a big in Mitch McGary and a defensive minded wing in Josh Huestis in the draft. Oh yeah K.D. and Russell Westbrook are still there too.
3 Los Angeles Clippers – With Doc Rivers fully in charge, the Clippers have had a quiet, but productive off-season so far. In free agency they’ve added stretch-5 Spencer Hawes and point guard Jordan Farmar to help with their depth and offense. In the draft L.A. selected shooting guard C.J. Wilcox who can knock it down from long range and cash in at the free throw line, and is a solid defender already.
4 Chicago Bulls – Even though they didn’t get Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls did add Pau Gasol in free agency and will be getting former league MVP Derrick Rose back. Adding those two All-Stars to a team that made the playoffs last year and the Bulls are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.
5 Cleveland Cavaliers – Bringing LeBron James back in free agency not only makes the Cavs a playoff contender, but a lot people feel an NBA Championship contender. I’m not ready to go there yet. Let’s wait and see what happens with all of these Kevin Love rumors. But even if they don’t deal for Love, with James, number #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and Kyrie Irving serving as the Cavs big three, David Blatt’s team is one to watch out for in the East, which is now up for grabs.
THE BEST OF THE REST
6 Portland Trail Blazers
7 Indiana Pacers
8 Houston Rockets
9 Golden State Warriors
10 Memphis Grizzlies
11 Washington Wizards
12 Miami Heat
13 Dallas Mavericks
14 Phoenix Suns
15 Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers – With LeBron James returning home, the Cavs are by far the biggest winners this off- season. James is the best player in the world and he fills a major void at the small forward spot that’s been vacant since well, when he left four years ago. Forget that he signed a 1 year and an option year contract. James did that so he can cash in on the next TV contract by increasing his max contract dollars. He’s not going anywhere, considering how much money he can make, a young talented roster and he and his family are back home. First year G.M. David Griffin also locked up 2-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to a 5-year max contract and thus has his Batman and Robin for years to come.
San Antonio Spurs – After Tim Duncan exercised his player option for $10.3 million to return for at least one more season with the World Champs, the Spurs then went and resigned two of their own free agents in Boris Diaw and Patty Mills to team friendly contracts thanks to Duncan taking less than market value. Plus San Antonio announced that head coach Gregg Popovich agreed to a multi-year contract extension. All four moves are big wins for the Spurs.
Los Angeles Clippers – Doc Rivers added two players that will help the team’s depth and offense and he did so without overpaying for either one. Getting Spencer Hawes, a stretch-5 for less than $6 million per season for four years and point guard Jordan Farmar to replace Darren Collison who left for the Kings at about $2 million per year are very good gets.
Miami Heat – Like the Cavs did in 2010, Pat Riley and the Heat felt LeBron’s return was a slam dunk only to be rejected and left shaking their heads. Again no matter what you do, as the Cavaliers found out, there’s no replacing LeBron James. The Heat overpaid Chris Bosh to stay instead of going to Houston. They’re going to overpay an aging Dwyane Wade and two of their other free agent signees are injuries waiting to happen in Danny Granger and Luol Deng.
Los Angeles Lakers – G.M. Mitch Kupchick was shooting for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. When LeBron went to Cleveland he was hoping to team up Carmelo with Kobe and Pau Gasol. Then Carmelo agreed to stay with the Knicks and Gasol left for the Bulls. Plus the “Lake Show” lost Jodi Meeks to OKC. This off-season has been one of the worst in Lakers history.
Houston Rockets – While they’ll still be a good team, the Rockets were trying to bolster their roster so they would become an elite team. They targeted Carmelo Anthony first and lost out. Then they set their sights on Chris Bosh and lost him too. Adding insult to injury, one of their fine young players, Chandler Parsons accepted an offer sheet from Dallas and Houston decided not to match it. So the high flying, long distance shooter is now a Mav. They replaced Parsons with Trevor Ariza which isn’t terrible and are said to be interested now in trying to land Kevin Love in a trade, but so far this off season Houston has had a problem getting the players they wanted.
As I told talk show host Ken Carmen last night on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, I can’t figure out what’s taking so long for LeBron James to make this decision. It’s a two horse race. It’s either Cleveland or Miami. What’s the holdup LeBron? You played for both teams, so you know both organizations. You’re a student of the game, so you see the two rosters and understand their cap space availability. So make up your mind already!
It’s being reported that he wanted to talk it over some more with his family. From everything I hear from my sources, they all want him to come back to Cleveland. So what is causing the holdup?
Here are a few reasons, and I know I may be reaching here, but what they heck we have time to kill, as to why maybe LeBron is still undecided, if he really is.
1. Since he’s in Vegas for his skills camp and if he doesn’t know too much about new Cavs head coach David Blatt, might LeBron want to check Blatt out in person on Friday as he coaches the Cavs summer league team in their first game against Milwaukee?
2. Maybe LeBron wants to see Cavs number #1 pick Andrew Wiggins in action going up against the player the Cavaliers passed on in Jabari Parker since the Bucks and Cavs are playing each other to see if he feels new Cavaliers G.M. David Griffin made the right pick.
3. LeBron might also want to get a look at last year’s number #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett to gauge how much he’s improved from his disastrous rookie season, to see if he thinks the kid can play in the NBA.
4. Or “King James” could be waiting on the Cavaliers to swing a deal for Kevin Love, to prove to him that this new regime could follow through on the possible plans they laid out to his agent Rich Paul when the two sides met recently.
5. Is it possible, I guess anything is at this point, that James gave Pat Riley and the Miami Heat once last chance to pull off a major move like maybe bringing Carmelo Anthony to Miami to play with LeBron and D-Wade?
6. How about this one, Nike and the Cavaliers needed more time once they found out where LeBron is going, to get all their TV ads, billboards and other advertising avenues together so they can flood the media market with their new LeBron marketing campaign? And also, maybe LeBron and his team needed more time to get their website ready for the traffic that will be coming their way for when they do make the announcement on his site?
I have no idea if any of these are indeed reasons why LeBron has yet to announce his intentions, but for some reason he hasn’t made the “Decision” public yet, so these were my best guesses. You got anything better?
And down the stretch they come! As we race towards July 10th, the first day NBA free agents can officially sign their new contracts; the biggest name in free agency has yet to decide what uniform he’ll be wearing next season. But the finish line is within sight and should be crossed in the next few days from what I’ve been told.
Sources tell me that LeBron James and his people will meet with the two or three finalists in Las Vegas over the next day or so and then make the decision as to where he will be playing next year.
It looks now like it’s a two horse race between the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with an outside shot of the Lakers climbing back into the race if they can convince Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol to sign in L.A. But to use a horse racing term, it’s considered a very “Long Shot”.
The reason the Cavs chances continue to rise is no all-star caliber free agent is willing to take less money and sign with the Heat as of tonight. Pat Riley struck out with Kyle Lowery and Marcin Gortat. He met and left without a verbal commitment from Luol Deng and Pau Gasol. Riley now is said to be talking to Marvin Williams as a potential free agent candidate. I’m not sure that’s the type of player that’s going to knock LeBron’s socks off and make him want to stay in Miami. So the longer this goes without a commitment from a legit, still close to his prime type player saying yes to the Heat, the better the chances are for the Cavs. But don’t count Riley out just yet. If he goes down, he’s going to go down swinging. But there may not be enough power (or salary cap space) in those punches to help him or save him.
With that in mind I would now put the Cavaliers chances of convincing James to return to Cleveland as a free agent at least at 60 percent and here’s why. They will offer him a max contract. There is an immediate chance to win, as well as an extended chance to win with the current roster. Also if James signs, the Cavs have the assets of cap space, young talent and future first round draft picks to change the roster if need be to bring in a third all-star player. Plus he’d be returning home, which would in turn make his wife happy. You know the old saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life!”
James would also get the opportunity to finish what he started eleven years ago, when he was drafted first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers, and that was to bring the city of Cleveland a championship. He also promised to “Light Cleveland Up Like The Las Vegas Strip”. So it would only be fitting that if LeBron is indeed does return to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers, he announce it this week from Las Vegas!
For those asking me to handicap the LeBron James sweepstakes, I will, but I really don’t know. Only James does, just like in 2010.
I will say this though, the fact that the Cavs, with a group that reportedly included Dan Gilbert, had a meeting with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul, is a good sign. That tells you that the fences have been mended to a degree between the two sides or the Cavs would have never even received a sit down with Paul to talk about LeBron’s future. Are things all hunky dory between Gilbert and James? No, and they may never be like they once were. But, business is business, and I’m sure the two can tolerate each other enough if it meant winning championships and making lots of money.
So with that in mind, I’ll put on my handicapping hat and give you my best guesses on where I think LeBron James could end up.
As far as the percentages of LeBron staying in Miami versus coming back to Cleveland or going to another team, right now I see it this way. Pat Riley and the Heat are still the front runners until “Riles” proves he can’t add the necessary players to Miami’s roster to make LeBron happy. So let’s put the Heat’s chances at 50 percent. As of now they’re still the leaders in the clubhouse. But if he does stay with Miami I expect his contract will be for only one or two years.
The Cavs, with an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving, plus that young nucleus of high lottery picks, cap space and multiple future first round picks are in second place in my opinion. This young roster has to be enticing to LeBron especially with the addition of Andrew Wiggins, or knowing that David Griffin could take some of those young players and trade them for a proven All-Star like Kevin Love. Add in he could come back home to be closer to his family and his Akron roots, along with it being a great story that would help repair his image even more. All that plays in to me giving the Cavaliers about a 30 percent chance, which is a better percentage than they had in the recent draft lottery. That percentage goes up if none of the All-Star caliber free agents want to take less money to play in Miami, or if Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can’t agree on how to divide up the free agent money with their salaries.
So how do I break up the remaining 20 percent that’s left? There are reportedly four other teams that have talked with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul in recent days; Suns, Lakers, Rockets and Mavs. I’m adding a wild card just in case in the L.A. Clippers. Let’s give them each a 4 percent chance of luring LeBron away from South Beach.
The Lakers, only if Mitch Kupchak can miraculously team up LeBron with Kobe and Carmelo Anthony and it is “Hollywood”.
The Rockets, if James would consider playing with James Harden and Dwight Howard with all three getting max contracts, but what would the rest of the team look like?
The Mavs, because Dirk Nowitzki took a pay cut to create cap space for LeBron and maybe one other All-Star caliber player.
The Suns, who were 14 games over .500 last year and failed to make the playoffs in the Western Conference by just one game. Phoenix does have a nice young group of players, but no All-Stars and they’d have to make some serious moves to get LeBron and maybe another top flight free agent.
And finally my wild card out of left field the Clippers, because LeBron’s best friend Chris Paul is on the team. Also they’re a playoff team with a coach he respects greatly in Doc Rivers who is now in charge of pretty much everything. If the league acts swiftly and jettisons Donalrd Sterling, the Clippers could appeal to LeBron, but they’d have to make some serious moves to acquire James.
So there you have my best guesstimate as of today on where “King James” could end up. Tomorrow it may be different, and then change again on Monday and every day after that until he signs. LeBron is truly the only one who knows which way he is leaning. I believe he will give Miami every chance to bolster its roster, so he can stay there for another year or two, but the clock is ticking. If “The Chosen One” doesn’t feel that the Heat have improved enough in free agency, he is going to choose the team that he believes has the best roster and gives him the best chance to win. And who knows, that just might be Cleveland! If so, they’ll have beaten long odds again to win the sweepstakes.
1 LeBron James – UFA – SF – 6’8 – 260 – 29 – 27.1ppg – 6.9rpg – 6.4apg ($19mill last season)
2 Carmelo Anthony – UFA – SF – 6’8 – 235 – 30 – 27.4ppg – 8.1rpg – 3.1apg ($21.5mill last season)
3 Chandler Parsons – RFA (Hou.)–SF–6’9–227–25-16.6ppg–5.5rpg–4.0apg ($965,000 last season)
4 Greg Monroe – RFA (Det.) – C – 6’11 – 250 – 24 -15.2ppg – 9.3rpg – 2.1apg ($5.5mill last season)
5 Marcin Gortat – UFA – C – 6’11 – 240 – 30 – 13.2ppg – 9.5rpg – 1.5blk ($7.8mill last season)
6 Trevor Ariza – UFA – SF – 6’8 – 220 – 28 – 14.4ppg – 6.2rpg – 2.5apg ($7.8mill last season)
7 Gordon Hayward – RFA (Utah) –SF–6’8–200–24–16.2ppg–5.1rpg–5.2apg ($4.7mill last season)
8 Spencer Hawes – UFA – C – 7’1 – 245 – 26 -13.2ppg–8.3rpg–3apg–1.2blk ($6.5mill last season)
9 Pau Gasol – UFA – C/PF – 7’0 – 250 – 33 – 17.4ppg–9.7rpg–3.4pg–1.5blk ($19.2mill last season)
T-10 Danny Granger – UFA – SF – 6’9 -230 – 31 – 8.2ppg – 3.2rpg – 1apg ($14.3mill last season)
Xavier Henry – UFA – SG/SF – 6’6 – 220 – 23 – 10ppg – 2.7rpg – 1.2apg ($916,000 last season)
But as the June 26th NBA Draft gets closer here’s some more info to process as you and the Cavs try to decide who should be the #1 overall pick. Each of the Top 3 candidates have been compared to some current or former NBA stars, so I went back to all of their freshman years in college to see how their stats stack up against one another.
Joel Embiid – 7’1-255-2014 – 11.2ppg – 8.1rpg – 2.6blk – 62%fg – 20%(3fg) – 68%ft
H.Olajuwon – 7’0-255-1982 – 8.3ppg – 6.2rpg – 2.5blk – 61%fg – 0%(3fg) – 56%ft
T. Duncan –6’11-248-1994 – 9.8ppg – 9.6rpg – 3.8blk – 54%fg – 100%(3fg) – 74%ft
A. Wiggins – 6’8–200–2014 – 17ppg – 6rpg – 1.5apg – 44.8%fg – 34.1%(3fg) – 77.5%ft
M. Jordan – 6’6–195-1982 – 13.5ppg – 4.4rpg – 1.8apg – 53.4%fg – 0%(3fg) – 72.2%ft
Sidney Moncrief -6’3-180-1976 –12.6ppg – 7.6rpg – 2.1apg – 66.5%fg – 0%(3fg)– 72.7%ft
J. Parker – 6’9-240-2014 – 19.1ppg – 8.7rpg – 1.2apg – 47.3%fg – 35.8%(3fg) – 74.8%ft
Melo Anthony – 6’8-230-2003–22.2ppg–10rpg– 2.2apg – 45.3%fg – 33.7%(3fg)– 70.6%ft
Paul Pierce – 6’6-230-1996 – 11.9ppg – 5.3rpg – 1.8apg – 41.9%ft – 30.4%(3fg) – 60.6%ft
(Photos courtesy of USA Today, StandingOSports.com and Zagsblog.com)