carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony traded to Knicks. Finally.

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Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks. Finally.

A saga that started this summer when Anthony and his representatives told Denver officials he would opt out of his contract and leave as a free agent if not traded — and that he would only sign an extension with the Knicks — has ended with Anthony getting what he wanted, according to the The Denver Post. That trade has now been confirmed by all the parties, including Anthony’s agent Leon Rose.

This is a three team deal with Minnesota a part of it. Denver gets Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash. Anthony will go to New York, along with Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, as well as Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves. Minnesota will get Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract from the Knicks.

Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri spoke to Yahoo’s Marc Spears:

“You lost a great player. A deal is a deal. But we lost a great player in Carmelo. We are excited about the young guys we’re getting”

Technically the league office was closed Monday so the deal can not be sent in and finalized until Tuesday, but all the parts are in place. Throughout the evening reports continued to come in that this got closer and closer.

Carmelo Anthony did not take part in Nuggets practice Monday (although he was set to be on Conan O’Brien’s show Monday night). Chauncey Billups did practice but refused to speak to media when leaving the facility.

The Nuggets have had talks about flipping some of those Knicks assets — specifically Felton and Gallinari — for picks. There was talk of those two going to the Nets  in a three-team deal that includes Devin Harris and the Mavericks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. However, ESPN’s Chris Broussard shot that down Monday night, but Broussard’s source also said they planned to keep Nene and J.R. Smith. Which makes me wonder if that source is not just trying to give the Nuggets some leverage for negotiations.

The Knicks balked at including this many players in any deal to get Anthony throughout the summer and into the season, with team president Donnie Walsh thinking if he could not get a trade done he would sign Anthony as a free agent. Knicks owner James Dolan came in and upped the offer — with advice from Isiah Thomas — and that seemed to make the trade come together for the Knicks.

But the Knicks now have traded away four guys who started — basically everyone not named Amar’e Stoudemire — and how they will fill in around their superstars to compete with Boston and Miami (and Chicago) remains to be seen. It will be a challenge under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, whatever that looks like.

Knicks fans don’t care, ticket brokers in New York have reported a rush and are increasing the prices they charge for Knicks games by 30 percent at least, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Report: 76ers sat Jahlil Okafor because they were close to Trail Blazers trade

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers controls the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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The 76ers sat Jahlil Okafor for two games last week, openly acknowledging they were discussing trading him. Then, they played him in their final game before the All-Star break.

That prompted speculation that no deal fell through, but that Philadelphia was bluffing being close in order to drum up interest.

But maybe there actually was a near-trade.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

On the surface, this makes sense. We know the Trail Blazers were interested in a cost-controlled center, because they traded for Jusuf Nurkic.

But that trade also makes Portland perfect cover if the 76ers are just trying to deflect from a gambit gone wrong. Not only were the Trail Blazers plausible trade partners, they already made their deal. So, there will be no questions about revisiting discussions.

Locker room drama? Player recruitment? Paul Millsap, does that go on All-Star weekend? “Rarely ever”

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17:  Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks speaks with the media during media availability for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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NEW ORLEANS — Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant spreading tension throughout the locker room. Players trying to convince Carmelo Anthony he should agree to a trade to their city. Players coming up and trying to recruit free agents to be this summer like the Hawks’ Paul Millsap.

It’s how some fans picture it is inside All-Star weekend locker rooms, all sorts of palace intrigue playing out like a soap opera.

“Rarely ever,” Millsap said of these kinds of things coming up. “For us, we get away from regular season basketball. It’s not about our respective teams, it’s about what’s going on now. You may share some stories, but we’re not talking about (regular season drama).”

Fans can be deeply invested in what happens during the regular season — heck, Eric Gordon heard boos from frustrated Pelicans fans before he won the Three-Point Contest Saturday.

But for the players, it’s a vacation. A chance to get away from all that drama.

“No, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter at all,” Millsap said of the regular season minutia that can dominate the league. “Once you get down here we’re all teammates. That’s how guys treat it. To get here, we’re enemies, but while we’re here everybody’s teammates and are fun to have in the locker room. It’s just a good time.”

They’re more likely to talk about the parties around town.

“Some,” Millsap said with a laugh. “But it’s just more general conversation, almost nothing about the season.”

Most of the recruitment comes in the summer, and most via text. Some players don’t like each other, just like nearly everyone reading this has someone at their office/job they don’t like working with (except me, all my bosses should be canonized they are such good people). Come the office Christmas Party, people put that aside and just get along. Same thing All-Star weekend for the players. Everyone just gets along and tries to enjoy the experience.

When play starts up again next week, the drama can return.

Draymond Green: ‘Shaqtin A Fool’ treats JaVale McGee unfairly

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) is greeted by forward JaVale McGee in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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NEW ORLEANS — JaVale McGee has fired off at Shaquille O’Neal about “Shaqtin A Fool,” TNT’s blooper segment. Now, the oft-mocked Warriors center has someone else sticking up for him.

“I think JaVale is unfairly treated on Shaqtin,” Golden State forward Draymond Green said. “This year has given me a little different outlook on it.

“I just think there’s some stuff that goes on there about JaVale that really shouldn’t be on there. But, because it’s JaVale…”

That is true. McGee goofs that wouldn’t register if they were by other players make Shaqtin. But McGee still produce plenty of worthy candidates.

And it’s not as if Green is completely turned off.

“I like the show,” Green said. “It’s funny as hell to me. But that aspect of it has kind of given me a little different view.”

PBT Extra: Despite Russell Westbrook’s triple-double pace, James Harden is MVP frontrunner

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The NBA’s MVP race is down to two men. Sure, you can make a case for Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James, some even want to throw Isaiah Thomas in the mix, but the best any of them is going to do is down the ballot in the final three slots.

The top two are reserved for James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

In this PBT Extra, I discuss that while Westbrook is on pace for a historic season — averaging a triple-double of 31.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 10.1 assists a game — it is Harden who is lifting his team to higher heights, and that very well could win the beard the award.