Carmelo still wants to be traded… but not to Clippers or 76ers

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All’s quiet on the Carmelo Anthony trade front.

And Anthony is not happy about that, according to a Denver Post source. You couldn’t tell it on the court — he scored 30 and was one assist shy of a triple-double against the Clippers Thursday — but he wants out.

So long as out isn’t to the Clippers or Sixers. The Post’s source said trades there were not likely, meaning Anthony would not sign an extension for either team, essentially killing a deal.

This source said he wants to go to the Knicks (duh!), Bulls (still no Noah, still no deal) or the Nets. The last one is interesting because previously Anthony stated he never said he would sign an extension with the Nets. So one of two things here: Anthony changed his mind about the Nets or this source is someone from Anthony’s camp still pushing for the Nets option and trying to convince him (the latter seems more likely, to me anyway).

The Nets are reported to still be interested in a deal, one that centers around raw but with plenty of upside rookie Derrick Favors. He has looked that part in preseason, shooting 34 percent overall with some bad shooting nights, followed by flashes of potential. But other teams would have to be involved, and it would get complex, like the now-dead four-team deal from last month.

Denver may also not be that eager to move Anthony right now — the Nuggets are already depleted along the front line. Chris “Birdman” Anderson, Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington are all out and other players like Chauncey Billups got a rest Thursday. This is what George Karl said postgame according to the Associated Press.

“I don’t know when they’re coming back. We’re hoping to get Al back for the regular season,” Karl said. “We have only three of our five 25-30 minute players, so it’s going to be difficult. I told my staff that we have 70 minutes (to dole out), and if we started the season today, I don’t know who would be playing those 70 minutes.”

Regardless of the situation, Anthony apparently still wants out, the sooner the better.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.