Bobcats are likely looking to flip Erick Dampier's contract, but it won't be easy

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Erick Dampier’s “instantly” expiring contract was supposedly one of the off-season’s biggest trade chips, yet the Mavs were only able to get Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca in return. That’s not quite in line with Dallas’ lofty summer goals; Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban were shooting for a sign-and-trade with the biggest free agents, and were also connected to the Timberwolves in a possible trade for Al Jefferson. All of those potential moves fell through, and with only a few options left on the table, Dallas opted to grab a back-up center for next season. Not a bad move, just not a particularly good one in light of what could have been.

Dampier is now a Charlotte Bobcats…for the moment. The Bobcats will either waive Damp, making him an unrestricted free agent and wiping his salary off their books, or try to flip him for more value. However, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer found out, such a trade would be a bit more difficult than the one the Mavs just pulled off:

Since these [trade] rules can get complex, I emailed the league, and here’s what I was told:

Dampier’s contract CAN be traded right now, but couldn’t be
aggregated with another salary to make a deal work until 60 days after
being acquired by the Bobcats. In other words, if the Bobcats needed to
move about $17 million to make a trade work, they couldn’t combine
Dampier’s salary with Matt Carroll’s ($4.3 million) to approximate that
number until mid-September.

Without the ability to combine Dampier’s salary with another player’s salary for trade purposes, Charlotte’s options will be limited. Still, at this point they’re just looking for any value. As long as trading Dampier doesn’t come with long-term financial burden (which it likely would; What other incentive would a team have to trade for him? Especially considering he’s going to be made a free agent and will sign for far, far less than $13 million?), acquiring something is better than nothing.

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.