Carmelo Anthony

Are the Nuggets delaying a ‘Melo trade to improve draft pick?


Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated put out a Carmelo Anthony trade theory via twitter on Friday:

Interesting ‘Melo theory floated at me by a couple execs this week. Nets want Melo. DEN wants Nets package of Favors, Murphy, picks. But DEN thinking if they trade Melo now, that NJN pick becomes worse when Melo makes the Nets better. DEN holds onto Melo until February (presumably) the Nets struggle, pick stays high and Nuggets get Melo to boost attendance.

There is some logic to that, but dang is that a risky strategy. In part because Derrick Favors has played pretty well so far — this is a guy considered a very raw project who couldn’t do a lot for you right now, but it turns out he is already a solid NBA player. If he is going to improve as expected, if he fits in with what the Nets do now, why move him? Even for Carmelo? Besides that, the longer you wait the more variables that can enter the picture and change it completely.

We’ve warned this could happen before — if Denver thinks the market for Anthony will get better as the trade deadline approaches, they may instead find out teams will start cutting them off at the knees by lessening offers. The general consensus around the league is that Anthony is not going to re-sign in Denver, that they have no choice but to move him. That may or may not be reality, but that’s what other teams are thinking. And they are looking at any trade for ‘Melo through those glasses.

This is going to get interesting. And probably end badly.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.