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George Karl thinks ‘Melo could be a Nugget all season

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Maybe this is just wishful thinking — if you’re a coach, you don’t want to lose your best scorer, you don’t want to embark on a rebuilding project. So you hope and convince yourself….

George Karl thinks Carmelo Anthony could be a Nugget through the end of the season, as he told the Associated Press.

“I’ve always felt from the very beginning of the season that the chance of that happening was greater than all you all thought,” Karl told reporters Monday before his Denver Nuggets faced the New Jersey Nets. “I just felt that way from the first day of training camp, from September, I’ve always felt that way.”

Asked his basis for that belief, Karl said: “Just my experiences in the NBA. Just making a big trade in the middle of the season is not an easy thing to do.”

That is true. And it has been hard for the Nuggets to come up with a deal that satisfies everyone. Especially themselves. They have delayed and kept trying to tack on more contracts to this deal, to the point they drove Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets away. For now.

Anthony staying with the Nuggets feels  more like real possibility, even if it would be flirting with disaster for the Nuggets. Because if Anthony leaves as a free agent this summer and the Nuggets get nothing in return, well, have you see the Raptors and Cavaliers play this season?

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.