Target number one for the New York Knicks remains Carmelo Anthony. He is their one true love, but with the tide of events pushing Anthony into the arms of the Nets, the Knicks are going to need an ending like The Graduate to kill this marriage (“It’s too late.” “Not for me.”)
But if the Knicks don’t steal the girl out of the church, then what?
How about a big, burly Spaniard like Marc Gasol? That is who the Knicks will target this summer if they can’t spend all their money on Anthony, according to the New York Post (via CBS Facts & Rumors).
If the Nets pull off the blockbuster multi-team trade and Anthony accepts a contract extension, the Knicks are expected to change the focus of this offseason to restricted free agent 7-foot-1 center Marc Gasol. The younger brother of the Lakers’ Pau, Gasol is the type of burly big man the roster lacks and team president Donnie Walsh covets.
Gasol would be a good fit in the Knicks’ system — he is very good on the pick-and-roll because he can pop out for the midrange or roll to the hoop (he is shooting 62.8 percent as the roll man this season in Memphis, they should use him more that way). He can defend the rim and rebound, but would not drag down the running game.
The Grizzlies have a $4.5 million qualifying offer in for Gasol, so he will be a restricted free agent (unless the new Collective Bargaining Agreement changes everything) so the Grizzlies would have the right to match any offer.
Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley has said he wants to keep this core of players together in Memphis. Add to that Zach Randolph being an unrestricted free agent — Memphis may well lose that big to the market — and the Grizzlies have some motivation to keep Gasol and spend a little to do so.
Meaning the Knicks would need to overpay to get Gasol. But that hasn’t stood in the franchise’s way in the past.
After the first Toronto win, Raptors’ “Global Ambassador” (whatever that means) and highest profile fan Drake took to Instagram to troll LeBron James.
Drake flew back to his native Toronto for Game 4 and he got to see his Raptors even the series behind big nights from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. How did he celebrate? Trolling Kyrie Irving on Instagram.
If the Raptors win a third game this series, will Drake troll Kevin Love? Actually, Love did a pretty good job of trolling himself the last couple games.
Jonas Valanciunas was active in Game 4, but he didn’t play.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey, via Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic
“Hopefully we can get him involved,” Casey said. “Again, it depends on the lineup they have on the court. I know he’s our starting centre but it’s tough to put him out there if they’re playing Channing Frye big minutes at the five.”
“The thing about it is with our five-man, it helps us when we have to switch, especially when they’re playing Love at the five or Frye at the five,” Casey said. “It gives us the flexibility to switch Bismack. It’s a luxury that we have that.”
Toronto won, anyway. So, there’s no griping about Valanciunas remaining stuck on the bench last night.
But Valanciunas could still help the Raptors, who were outscored by three in Game 4 when Bismack Biyombo sat.
Valanciunas’ injury will probably still limit his minutes, which is fine. There’s limited opportunity for him to be effective. As Casey said, Kevin Love and Channing Frye – who already help the Cavs get so many open 3-pointers – are tough matchups for Valanciunas.
But Valanciunas can battle Tristan Thompson inside and on the glass without getting put through the ringer on the perimeter. If Casey picks his spots when Thompson plays, Valanciunas should have a role the rest of this series – at least if he’s healthy enough to play near his standards.
The Oklahoma City Thunder went small and blew out the dreaded “death lineup” of the Warriors.
After looking completely overmatched for two games, the Toronto Raptors have evened the series with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Yet all anyone seems to want to talk about is Draymond Green kicking Steven Adams in the nether regions, and how the league handled that. So in this latest NBC Sports/PBT Podcast Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports start with Green’s kick, move on to his poor play in general in Game 3, and discuss Game 4 and the rest of that series. Also covered is Toronto and Cleveland, plus a little talk about Nate McMillan to Indiana and Frank Vogel to Orlando.
As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes, download it directly here, or you can check out our new PBT Podcast homepage, which has the most recent episodes available. If you have the Stitcher app, you can listen there as well.
Draymond Green answered the first three questions he faced today – each about not being suspended for kicking Steven Adams in the groin – with: “That is a great question,” “That is a great question” and “That is a great statement.”
Then, he got a little more revealing.
Green, via Tim Kawakami of Talking Points:
I’m never going to be careful; I’m just going to be me and the game will play out the way it will play out.
Green should be more careful.
1. He’s reached the playoff limit of flagrant-foul points without being suspended. Another flagrant 1 would cost him a game and a flagrant 2 would cost him two games. Even if he didn’t intentionally kick Adams in the groin, doing the exact same thing would draw another flagrant 2. Losing Green for two games would devastate the Warriors.
2. He frequently kicks out his legs on drives. It might be more remarkable he didn’t hurt anyone before this. if you take Green at his word – and I do on this – he doesn’t want to see anyone injured. He can do his part to decrease the odds of someone getting hurt.
There’s a way for Green to play with passion/swagger/emotion/tenacity while being careful, at least careful enough to avoid being reckless. He needs to find the line.