Larry Riley denies that he's shopping Anthony Randolph

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nba_randolph.jpgAnthony Randolph has been rumored to be on the Warriors’ trading block from pretty much the very second he arrived in Oakland. Even if the jury’s still out on whether or not an actualized Randolph is a realistic possibility, his combination of athleticism and skills would make him an appealing prospect to just about any team in the league.

To make the rumors even more juicy, Randolph’s relationship with Don Nelson and the Warriors organization have always seemed a bit…off. It’s an easy thing to say from the outside looking in, but between inconsistent playing time, injuries, and outright benchings that favored inferior players, Anthony’s status as a Warrior has always appeared fluid. The most recent rumors had Randolph going to the Timberwolves, but those are simply the latest in a long list of possible deals and destinations.

However, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, Larry Riley, GM of the Warriors, isn’t looking to trade Randolph, despite what the rumor mill would have you believe:

Drafting another power forward, however, shouldn’t insinuate that the Warriors are trying to deal Anthony Randolph. “I told him Monday, ‘I’m not trading you unless there is a heck of a player on the other side of the deal. You’re not going anywhere,’ ” Riley said. Randolph’s name has frequently come up in possible trades with Minnesota this summer, and he was a mainstay on the rumor mill at the February trade deadline.

“I really am not looking to trade him,” Riley said. “I am not in search of trading Anthony Randolph, and I’m not shopping him…This is the year we’ll make a lot of determinations on him, and he’ll make a determination on his career. There is huge upside there, and I would hate to walk away from that.”

Obviously that doesn’t mean Randolph won’t be traded, and the “heck of a player” caveat is malleable enough to justify a number of acquisitions. Still, Riley’s refute does count for something, even if it’s just sound PR.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.