Carmelo Anthony hints the Knicks may not want him, trade may take time

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Carmelo Anthony practiced with the Denver Nuggets Monday — a sign that nothing is imminent on the trade front — as did everyone else whose name has come up in recent trade talks. The exception was Chauncey Billups (officially out due to a headache, which I bet all the trade rumors have become for him).

Anthony spoke to the media Monday but sounded more out of the loop on what is going down than you imagine he actually is. There was this one interesting quote, via the twitter of Chris Tomasson of FanHouse, regarding the New York Knicks:

“New York is playing well right now. I don’t think they’re looking at me. They wouldn’t want me to come in there and mess what they have up. That’s what I’ve read so.”

The entire island of Manhattan just yelled “WHAT!?!”

You can be sure the Knicks and their fans still want Anthony. Badly (although maybe not Amar’e Stoudemire). But aside that quote you got no real sense of what Anthony is planning other than to suit up for the Nuggets Tuesday (again quotes are via Tomasson). For example, would he sign an extension with the Nets?

“I really don’t know. I’m waiting to see Masai (Ujiri, Denver’s executive vice president of basketball operations) and Josh (Kroenke, the Nuggets president)… They haven’t been here. So I’m just patiently waiting until they get back so I have a sitdown with them.”

“I’m here… Until something happens, I’m a Denver Nugget.”

“I got a game tomorrow against Phoenix. So if I go out there tomorrow thinking about the New Jersey Nets that will disrespectful to myself. That would be disrespectful to this organization and to the fans out there.”

He could be a Nugget for a while longer.

This is a complex, 15-player, three-team trade that keeps evolving. The core of it would send Anthony, Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, some other players and a couple first round picks to the Nuggets; and Troy Murphy and Johan Petro to the Pistons along with picks. But questions about whether Al Harrington is part, what picks and more continue to be negotiated.

Anthony reiterated again that he didn’t think anything was going to happen this week, saying there was no pressure that makes this have to happen in the next 48 hours. Also, there is no real pressure on the Nuggets to make a move so long as New Jersey’s core deal is still on the table — and the Nets are not likely to pull it off because they want Anthony. They want the Brooklyn native to open the new arena in Brooklyn in two years.

So while there is a lot of heat right now, we could be in this fire for a while. The trading deadline is Feb. 24.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play game with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.