New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls

Bulls sign Jannero Pargo, John Lucas as insurance


The Chicago Bulls had a couple of roster spots open, so they filled them Sunday with a couple of point guards just to have some practice depth behind Derrick Rose.

Veteran journeyman Jannero Pargo (who was with the Bulls last season) and John Lucas III (who has been with the Bulls on a 10-day contract this season) have added to the roster, Chris Carson reports at CSN Chicago. But don’t expect to see either of them playing.

“Both John and Jannero will be on the inactive list but it’s good to have extra bodies in practice,” said Tom Thibodeau after practice concluded. “As we prepare for the playoffs, I think it’s important to have that.

“We think they’re a great fit for us. Both are high-character guys, both shooters and it’s insurance for us. It also gives us an opportunity to rest some guys in practice if choose to do that.”

The Bulls are thinking like contenders — time to get the key guys rested and healthy for the playoffs.

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.