Whatever state of limbo it may be in, the trade talks for Carmelo Anthony are not dead.
The best sign of that: Denver did not ask him to participate in any of the team’s promotional filming on media day.
We all read the quotes about the upcoming season on media day, but another part of it is the team getting a lot of its promo work done. You know those little bumpers on your local Fox Sports/Comcast team broadcast where Andrew Bogut palms the ball and holds it out right in front of him, or Brandon Roy dribbles it a couple times while looking at the camera? Shot on media day. This is also when the radio bumpers are done, some team promotional photos are taken and so on.
Anthony did none of that.
Which means he Nuggets are still at least contemplating a trade still. The status of that trade is still up in the air. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports that the Nuggets and Nets are trying to get two new partners in a four team dance after the Nuggets balked at a deal with Charlotte and Utah. That deal would have brought them good talent but had them $4.5 million over the luxury tax line (with the dollar-for-dollar tax that would be a $9 million payout).
That seems confusing however — the Nuggets would have had time to trade players like Chauncey Billups to find ways under that number. But the Nuggets have seemed of two minds on this trade all along — some in the organization wanted to pull the trigger while others want to bring Anthony in and see if Billups and coach George Karl could change his mind. They \ want young talent back in the trade but also want to shed bad contracts in it as well. Basically, they want everything.
One thing consistently being said now is that nobody else around the league knows who is the decision maker, who to contact on the Nuggets. Is it new general manager Masai Ujiri? Is it soon-to-be owner and front office guy Josh Kroenke? Is it adviser Bret Bearup? Other teams don’t know where the buck stops and they are not fond of talking to one person and getting one feeling, then talking to another and sensing something else.
But through it all, something must be going on if Anthony was not asked to do the promotional work of media day.
At some point, Russell Westbrook will sit down with members of the media and discuss Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder, how he felt about the move, and how it impacted him both personally and professionally.
But not right now. He remains silent.
This Vine making its way around, where Westbrook laughs — probably at the question, although read into that whatever you want — when asked about Durant sums up where we are.
In the full Facebook clip, Westbrook walks away, too. It’s his right. He can talk about it on his schedule.
Rudy Gay expressed displeasure with how the Kings were handling trade rumors. Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac retorted that Gay had his phone number.
Apparently, Gay found it.
Sean Cunningham of ABC 10:
Following those comments, Gay told ABC10 on Thursday afternoon that he had since spoken with Divac.
“I have talked to Vlade,” Gay said from his Nike Skills Academy at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. “I can’t say since Monday stuff has changed, but I just feel like we have a little bit of time to start changing things.”
Gay, who will be entering his 11th NBA season, has insisted he hasn’t demanded a trade and should he remain a member of the Kings by the time training camp opens in October, he says he’ll report and be ready to go.
“At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” said Gay. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”
Even if he hasn’t demanded a trade, it sure sounds like Gay would welcome one. I doubt the Kings would mind moving on, either.
But it takes another team to trade for Gay, and so far, one hasn’t emerged.
In the meantime, tensions appear to be eased. Open communication usually helps.
Jimmy Butler said of the Derrick Rose trade, “It had to be one of us.”
Butler also says not blame him for the Bulls losing Rose — or Joakim Noah, who’s also headed to the Knicks.
Jimmy Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
“That has nothing to do with me, I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “People are gonna think what they’re gonna think. I don’t let it bother me. I know where I stand, I know who I am. It’s one more thing for people to talk about. I don’t pay too much attention to it.”
I can believe Butler didn’t directly urge Chicago to trade Rose, but Butler’s presence matters.
Rose and Butler clearly didn’t ideally mesh on the court, and there might have been off-court issues, too. If it weren’t for Butler, the Bulls might have kept Rose.
Noah is a little different, because it seems he, more than the team, was ready for a breakup. Still, that might have also had to do with Butler.
Butler is trying to grow into a leader, a natural progression for someone who became his team’s best player. But that was awkward with the Bulls’ previous leaders — Rose and Noah — still in the locker room. There’s no simple solution, though moving on without Rose and Noah will clear that cloud.
So — without other information — it’s too much to “blame” Butler for Rose’s and Noah’s departures. But Rose and Noah moving from Chicago to New York can still be ascribed to Butler.
It might not have been something asked for directly. It’s just the reality of the situation.
Dwyane Wade is back in sweet home, Chicago.
Wade met with the media for the first time and talked about the pairing of himself and Rajon Rondo with the Bulls’ existing star in Jimmy Butler — Wade used the term “three alphas” more than once. But he also was clear about whose team this was going to be on the court.
“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes.”
Wade added that he would not be a Bull if Jimmy Butler had not personally called him and asked him to come.
Wade took that cue from Shaquille O’Neal when he joined Wade’s Heat team — which eventually led to the Heat’s first title in 2006. The Bulls would love for that kind of result here, although it’s much tougher to see this Chicago roster having anywhere near that kind of impact.