Report: Bulls considering adding Joakim Noah in Carmelo Anthony talks


nba_noah_250.jpgThe Denver Nuggets are not talking about trading Carmelo Anthony right now. Calls are politely being turned away. They want their chance to keep him first.

But a good rumor is like Freddy Krueger, it will not die.

The Chicago Bulls are considering trying to pry Anthony out of Chicago by including Joakim Noah in the deal, according to ESPNChicago.

According to the source, the Nuggets are hesitant to take back Luol Deng as part of a deal with the Bulls because Denver is leery of taking on long-term contracts with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on June 30, 2011. Deng is two years into a six-year, $71 million contract.

Noah will make $3.1 million this season in the fourth year of his rookie deal. He would become a restricted free agent next season unless the Bulls extend his contract.

We told you yesterday of the reports that Anthony still wants to be traded, preferably to the Knicks or Bulls. This clearly comes out of the Carmelo Anthony camp, which is located somewhere roughly on the third floor of the CAA building.

This new report comes from a “league source.” Think about it this way: Who benefits by leaking this to the press? Chicago? No, it makes them uncomfortable and if it wasn’t for the Bears about to stink once again and Manny Ramirez stinking once again all anybody in Chicago would talk about is this trade.

Does it makes sense to leak this if you’re Denver? Yes. Put out there for Chicago what it will really take to get this deal done.

Formally, Denver is still turning away trade requests. What we have here is a bucket of water out of the Mississippi River of backchannel conversations in the NBA. Denver, or the reasons enumerated, would likely prefer Noah to Deng.

Has Chicago discussed it internally? Probably on some level. Whether Chicago would actually do this is another thing entirely. Noah is a guy touted in Chicago as a building block. Part of the front line with Boozer. And he is affordable. To make the numbers work in this trade you’d almost have to send Deng and Noah, and that’s not going to happen. So there are a lot of questions.

Bottom line, don’t expect any action from the Nuggets soon. Rumors, yes, expect plenty of those. But not action.

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.