Carmelo isn't being traded, plus he'll sign the Denver deal. He has no real choice.


Thumbnail image for Anthony_game.jpgAmare wants to bring Carmelo Anthony to New York. He has not signed the $65 million extension in front of him from the Nuggets because he wants more out of them — if he doesn’t get it he could be gone.

No, he’s not.

The Nuggets aren’t going to trade him. He can posture, but he will sign the deal. He is not a guy with a lot of leverage.

First, about that trade idea, no way Denver does that. They are too smart for that. Don’t believe me. Check out what a Nuggets official told ESPN’s Chris Broussard:

“There is no way we are trading Carmelo Anthony,” the official said. “We’re 100 percent certain of that.”

Secondly, Melo is going to sign that deal sitting on the table. He says he is undecided, but he’ll sign it. Unless he doesn’t like money.

This year’s max guys are talking about making $1 million or so less over three years whether they sign with the home team or take their skills on the road. (It’s the sixth year of a max deal that is the big boost, the larger raises are not a huge boost the first few years of a six-year deal.)

But if Melo does not sign the three-year, $65 million deal in front of him, he will sign a deal a deal under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. We don’t know what that will be, but you can bet it won’t be great for players coming out of this recession. Max deals will be less, you can bet on it. (Yes, I know, I saw what teams are signing the Amir Johnson’s of the world for, but nobody thinks there will not be some give back by the unions in the new deal.)

So Melo can sign the $65 million now and have that grandfathered in, made max money for three years. Or, he can bet the players will be better off under the new CBA. Exactly. He signs.

Carmelo Anthony is a Nugget. Get used to it. He’s going nowhere for a while.

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.