The Kings may want Carmelo Anthony. The question is will 'Melo want the Kings?


Thumbnail image for CAnthony_stares.jpgThe Sacramento King’s have not come up on previous lists, but they make sense as a team that would be interested in Carmelo Anthony.

Which is why an unsourced rumor in the Sacramento Bee makes some sense.

If and when the Denver Nuggets commit to a sign-and-trade for Carmelo Anthony, the Kings will thrust themselves into the conversation. Count on it…. That said, Joe and Gavin Maloof have been consistent about two things: (1) They are not interested in adding role players to eat up the salary cap space they’ve finally created; and (2) They are absolutely interested in a game-changer type of player, someone who puts fannies in the seats and affects the won-loss percentage, e.g., a Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony. You can be assured inquiries have been made and discussions will be ongoing.

We emphasize this is unsourced — as in writer Ailene Voisin does not say “sources with the Sacramento Kings say…” — because the report also questions if Anthony is pushing for a sweeter deal when he has already been offered a max contract. It also questions if the Nuggets are committed to trading Anthony when we know that the team’s soon-to-be-owner and decision maker Josh Kroenke has already had a sit down with Anthony where he was reportedly told to his face Anthony would not sign there. So we have questions.

That said, it makes some sense for the Kings to try and see if they can get in the conversation on some levels. The Kings think they have building block pieces in Tyreke Evans at the point and DeMarcus Cousins in the paint, Anthony could be a key addition to really put them near the top of the West. The Kings have some young players and picks to move. This would put butts in the seats in Sacramento.

But as we keep saying, Melo has leverage, too. He can refuse to sign the extension if he doesn’t like the team he is going to, and no team is going to give up that much for a one-season rental. And reports are he wants to go to a big market team — his people keep pushing for the Knicks (it’s just they have little to trade the Nuggets). Sacramento does not exactly fit that bill. It’s a little hard to see him agreeing to this.

The Kings should butt in and ask.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.