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While Nets stall out, Knicks and Grizzlies talk three-team ‘Melo trade


When Knicks GM Donnie Walsh told the New York Daily News:

“I don’t have anything going with Denver,” Walsh told The News Wednesday. “Nothing.”

That laughing you heard was people around the NBA, because nobody believed it.

With words like “stalled” used around the Nets efforts to get Carmelo Anthony (due not to the Nets but the Nuggets hesitation), the Knicks are still there. New York is still the place Carmelo Anthony wants to go, and the Knicks are still working on their options. Sure, maybe Walsh has plausible deniability built in, but everybody knows the Knicks are working hard to find a deal that Denver will listen to (since clearly Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are chopped liver to the Nuggets brass). Deals such as trading Anthony Randolph for a first round pick.

Or getting in a third team such as Memphis involved, which ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted about:

Knicks have reached out to Memphis about sending OJ Mayo to DEN in 3-team deal that would send Carmelo Anthony to New York, sources say.

If Memphis is going to trade Mayo and focus on keeping both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, that might not be a bad plan.

I’m fairly sure the Nuggets would still prefer some variation of the Nets offer, where they get Devin Harris and Derrick Favors and multiple first round picks. But the way the Nuggets have hesitated and tried to add to that deal, they may let the entire thing slide through their fingers.

If so, the Knicks are still there and working it.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

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.