The theory goes like this: If the Denver Nuggets are going to trade Carmelo Anthony, then they are going to strip the roster down and rebuild. That means Chauncey Billups is gets moved, it means J.R. Smith is out and maybe more. In the NBA you sell the fan base one of two things — winning with stars or hope. If the Nuggets are going to trade their star, they better start selling young players and hope.
The Nuggets have talked with the Chicago Bulls about a trade for J.R. Smith.
It’s the trade season when everybody talks to everybody about everyone, so don’t put too much stock in this. That said, it makes some sense because Smith might fit well with the Bulls as a shooter off the bench, bringing some feistiness and a neck tattoo with him. George Karl and Smith butted heads countless times and Tom Thibodeau may or may not want more of the same. But you can see where Smith fits on a team that fancies itself in the Eastern elite (even if it is not).
What you can really take away from this is the Nuggets are laying the groundwork for a major roster shakeup after an Anthony trade. If there is one. If the two sides can agree on New Jersey. But clearly the Nuggets are thinking about a Melo-less future and are doing some planning for it.
Report: Danny Ferry not expected to supplant Dell Demps as Pelicans GM
Don’t look for Danny Ferry, currently an advisor to the front office, to take over in any shakeup, sources say.
I’m skeptical. Nobody wants to acknowledge an internal coup before it’s executed. Doing so would create a terrible workplace environment until it happens or if it doesn’t.
The Pelicans’ ownership situation makes this a little more tricky. There’s an apparent desire in New Orleans to win quickly for an aging Benson, and that directive has limited Demps’ flexibility.
Still, Demps’ plans have mostly busted. Eventually, he’ll run out of chances to try new ones.
If that happens soon, when the Pelicans search for a replacement, Ferry will be right there with an impressive record building up Atlanta and no stains that make him unhirable to New Orleans. Would the Pelicans, who thought enough of him to hire him once already, really not consider promoting him?
Report: Potential top-10 pick, Indiana’s OG Anunoby, undergoes season-ending knee surgery
Indiana Hoosiers sophomore forward OG Anunoby will undergo right knee surgery and miss the rest of the NCAA season, sources told The Vertical.
The 6-foot-8 small forward is a versatile defender. He has grown as a shooter, and there’s hope he could become a 3-and-D player – or, given his athleticism, maybe more.
Anunoby wasn’t in the top tier of prospects in a loaded 2017 NBA draft, but he was headed toward the lottery, maybe even the top 10. How he recovers from this injury will factor significantly into his draft stock now.
On the bright side, this is less opportunity for scouts to pick apart his raw offense (though it’s also less opportunity for Anunoby to develop).
NBA: Mavericks got away with key late foul in win over Bulls
Curry (DAL) clamps the arm of Lopez (CHI) and affects his ability to retrieve the rebound.
A correct call would’ve put Dallas in the penalty and sent Lopez – who has made 66% of his free throws this season and and 76% for his career – to the line for two attempts.
Instead, not only was Lopez denied his free throws, he committed a frustration foul on Dirk Nowitzki – who grabbed the rebound with help of Curry – moments later. Nowitzki converted one of two free throws.
We’ll never know how the rest of the game would’ve played out after a correct call, but a swing of 1-to-3 points is pretty big in a one-point game.