Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony talks trade but says nothing. Again.

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Carmelo Anthony’s walk from the locker room to the court Monday in New Jersey was lined with photos of construction and renderings of the finished new Barclays Center being built for the Nets in Brooklyn. Open for your convenience in 2012.

For the Nets first 22 home games that artwork was not there, John Schuhmann points out at NBA.com. Magically the pictures appear along the hallway to the court the same night Anthony and the Nuggets appear in Jersey.

Coincidence?

Hardly.

That just added to the murky waters around ‘Melo’s departure (or not) from Denver. After Anthony spoke to the media in New Jersey Monday, things were even less clear. Nobody had any idea what is going to happen. Including Anthony, it seems. Read these quotes, via Schuhmann, and you tell me what he’s really thinking.

“The CBA is in the back of my mind, but as far as being afraid to play this out, I’m not. If that’s what it’s going to take, then so be it. I’m with that…”

“If I sit here and tell you I’m willing to lose $15-20 million, then I’ll be lying to you. But at the same time, this has never been about the money. In my career so far, I think I’ve made enough money. Now I can focus on just trying to win a championship. That’s the only thing that’s on my plate and on my mind right now…

“I’ve been (in Denver) eight years. I didn’t even spend eight years in Baltimore… I love where I’m at right now in Denver. We’re playing well, but at the end of the day this is a business. The Denver Nuggets have to be cautious. It’s a business. I have to look at it as a business and we just go from there. Whether we make a business decision together and that’s for me to stay in Denver or they say the business decision is to trade you somewhere else, then you’ve got to deal with that.”

Then at these quotes from the Bergen Record about him in New Jersey.

“I really don’t know where it came from as far as if I was to come (to the Nets) that the extension wasn’t going to get signed,” Anthony said after scoring a game-high 37 points. “I really don’t know who started that.

“As far as the extension, if that trade was to go through, who knows what would’ve happened, I can’t really answer that because it didn’t go through.”

So basically Knicks, Nuggets and Nets fans can all take something positive away from Anthony’s remarks. Great.

While Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the plug on the Anthony to the Nuggets trade talks, it is minority owner Bruce Ratner that keeps trying to fan those flames, Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated reports.

Which just confuses the issue even more.

Of course, that confusion ultimately lands at ‘Melo’s feet. He may at one point have had a plan on how he thought this would play out, but right now — with less than a month to the trading deadline — it sure doesn’t feel like ‘Melo has any idea how this is going to go down. And if he doesn’t know…

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.