Knicks may be interested in Iguodala, Gibson, Varejao

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It’s no secret that the Knicks are hoping and expecting to land Carmelo Anthony before the February 24th trade deadline. However, it looks like the Nuggets may prefer to deal with the Nets, who can offer the Nuggets more than the Knicks can. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, the Knicks aren’t planning to sit on their hands if they fail to land Anthony:

So if the Knicks can’t trade for Anthony by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, they’ve got two other potential Plan Bs in mind.

In one, they may go after Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who would seem to fit nicely in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and one other player might be enough to pry Iguodala away from the Sixers, though Philadelphia doesn’t want to give away its top player in a mere salary dump.

The Knicks’ other scenario would potentially bring Cleveland’s proven role players Anderson Varejao and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are aware of their need for more toughness inside and Varejao would provide that. And Gibson could fill the backup point guard spot the Knicks have been looking to upgrade.

Iguodala would be a calculated risk. His athleticism and package of skills could make him a perfect fit for D’Antoni’s system, but he’s picked up some bad habits as a #1 option in Philadelphia — his True Shooting percentage has been lower than 54% for the last two seasons, and he’s spent far too much time pounding the ball on the perimeter and launching ill-advised jumpers.

Gibson and Varejao don’t have Iguodala’s star potential, but there’s far less risk associated with them. Gibson is a proven three-point gunner who’s made huge strides as a playmaker and all-around scorer this season — in fact, he may be the only Cleveland player who has improved offensively after the departure of LeBron James. Varejao is excellent at moving without the ball, a good finisher inside, and a furious rebounder and defender, something the Knicks saw when Varejao held Amar’e Stoudemire in check during the Cavs’ recent win over the Knicks.

The only real trade chips the Knicks have in these deals, assuming they’re not willing to part with Landry Fields or Wilson Chandler, are Eddy Curry and the talented but mercurial Anthony Randolph. With a lockout looming, financial flexibility may not be as attractive as it once was, so we’ll see if the Knicks can land a player who hasn’t made it publicly known that he wants out.

Report: Warriors “perplexed” by Kevin Durant’s offseason fighting old battles

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Kevin Durant made his move to Golden State last summer — it was an emotional, wrenching decision for him — and it went as well as he could have dreamed. He felt at home. He’s got a ring (or will have one on opening night), he was Finals MVP, and he not only strengthened his legacy with a title, but also helped it out by taking a paycut that made it easier for the Warriors to keep their core together this summer.

So why is he living in the past? Why release a shoe line taking shots at his detractorsWhy did he blast his former organization on Twitter? Sure, he apologized, but why slide back down that rabbit hole? For that matter, why take a shot at Stephen Curry’s shoe line?

Chris Mannix at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports said some with the Warriors are wondering the same thing.

But make no mistake: Many in Golden State, team officials and players alike, have taken note of Durant’s oddball offseason and are perplexed by it. They see a bright future for Durant in Oakland, league and team sources told The Vertical, and are bewildered as to why he is still addressing his past.

Oklahoma City will always be in Durant’s DNA, but it’s time for him to move on. Slapping around a team that was loyal to him, even in rejection, is a bad look. He’s a Warrior, and the possibilities for this Golden State team are endless. He can win championships, can win awards, can build one of the great dynasties in NBA history. The Thunder are doing their thing. Durant should forget about them, and do his.

This will all blow over. Soon the season will start, Durant and the Warriors will look dominant, and this will all seem like a minor distraction in the deadest part of the offseason. The focus will be on the rings.

But if you want an answer as to why, Durant’s response to a YouTube comment to someone who told him “who cares what other people think, just do you.” (Hat tip For the Win.)

…of my stature, I play basketball, I got acne, I grew up with nothing, in still figuring myself out in my late 20, I slide in DMs, I make fun of my friends, I drink beers and play Xbox. I’m closer to you than u think

Durant still can be a little immature, still wants to be a regular guy, and just like a regular guy he wants to be liked. And like a lot of people, he snaps at people when he knows he should just let it go and rise above. Maybe that will come with the lessons of this offseason.

Despite revoked passport, Enes Kanter says Thunder have arranged his travel to Mexico City, Toronto

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Thunder center Enes Kanter – who had passport revoked by Turkey – lacked documentation to travel for a December game against the Nets in Mexico City and a March game against the Raptors in Toronto.

Apparently, that issue has been resolved.

Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

Kanter said on Sunday that the team has worked out an arrangement to allow him to travel to games in Toronto and Mexico City even without a passport.

It always seemed highly likely Kanter would get to Toronto and Mexico City. He’s a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company.

Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp ‘cautiously optimistic’ Knicks will trade him by Monday

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In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.

That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.

Yet…

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.

It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.

If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.

Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.

Rick Pitino predicts NBA draft will accept high schoolers within two years

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Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.

Pitino, via ESPN:

When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.

I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.

Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.

It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.

But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.