Carmelo Anthony is in the Nuggets locker room. The talks around trading him continue to swirl. Those two things we know…
So, now what?
Wait for Anthony to speak at camp (which he may or may not do, things keep changing). Wait for someone to blink. For Anthony to sign a deal and go to New Jersey. For the Nuggets to decide they really have a shot to keep him. For the Bulls to call and say the Nuggets can have Noah. For anything.
Meanwhile we sift through some BS rumors around:
The Nuggets and Golden State Warriors apparently had some preliminary conversations, along the Steph Curry for Melo lines. But that only works for Golden State if Anthony signs an extension there, and he won’t. Plus, new Golden State co-owner Joe Lacob said they would not exceed the luxury tax, which should concern Melo long term.
Charlotte had brief conversations about Gerald Wallace for Anthony, but those fell apart for the same reason — Anthony would not sign an extension in Charlotte. Also, another team not going over the tax line.
Finally, count the Philadelphia 76ers out of the Anthony sweepstakes for the same reason — no Melo extension.
So we wait.
What we really wait for is Anthony and the Nuggets to get on the same page, compromise a little and play nice with each other. For them to work together on a deal rather than undercut each other.
But we may have to wait a long time for that. We shouldn’t have to wait long for Anthony to speak at media day.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.