The Knicks had a Melo back-up plan: Deron Williams

27 Comments

Waaaay at the bottom of a Yahoo! Sports report on Greg Oden (still injured!) and his mental state (still depressed!) and his future with the Blazers (still going to get another contract, somehow!) was a quiet little item:

The Utah Jazz had a possible deal in place to send guard Deron Williams to the New York Knicks in a multi-player trade if the Carmelo Anthony deal didn’t go through, a source told Yahoo! Sports. After Anthony was dealt to New York, Williams was traded from Utah to the Nets on Feb. 24.

via Recovering Oden aware of ‘Sam Bowie talk’ – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

Interesting. So the Knicks theoretically could have had their choice between the two and opted for Melo. If that’s the case, the move looks even worse from a long-term perspective than it does considering the Knicks’ disastrous post-trade plummet in the short-term. Williams cements a top point guard in this league, a position that is rife with elite players and every team is clamoring to obtain one. Melo, on the other hand, is a jump-shooting high-volume combo-forward. This isn’t about how good Melo is; he’s very, very good, an elite player and will have man productive years for the Knicks.

But to have Williams would have given Amar’e Stoudemire a better partner to work with in the pick and roll, and possibly allowed for more money to be available in 2012. Instead, the Knicks stuck their money on one horse, Melo, and are hoping he and Amar’e will develop something amazing in the next few years.

Then again, with Williams still likely to become a free agent in 2012, the Knicks may have their chance to have their cake and eat it, too. But in the meantime, while the Knicks are slumping towards the playoffs, keep in mind it could have been Williams lobbing to Stoudemire.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

Leave a comment

The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.

Aaron Gordon throws himself alley-oop off backboard (video)

Leave a comment

Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?

The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.

There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.

PBT Extra: Three things to watch with Boston in wake of Hayward injury

Leave a comment

Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.

What next for Boston?

In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.

Gordon Hayward addresses Celtics and fans from hospital bed (video)

1 Comment

Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.

Hayward:

What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.

At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.

And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.