Another day, another report that the Orlando Magic are leaning heavily toward keeping Dwight Howard in their camp and trying to convince him to stay. This time it’s in a series of tweets of from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated we hear that Dwight is staying and that he still has no interest in going to the Bulls. Which makes no sense, but there you go.
Mannix goes on to say Howard wanted to move via free agency anyway because he didn’t want to go to a team that was gutted to make way for him. So, he learned a lesson watching Carmelo Anthony. Great.
Then came this zinger at the end.
Two teams sources say tell SI Howard will have interest in: Clippers and Miami. There are cap issues, but the interest is real.
Howard wants to go to the Heat or Clippers? I want to do nothing but drink beer and eat ice cream and still get a body like Brad Pitt. That’s not how it works. No way either of those teams get him. Let me try to explain this:
Miami has $78 million committed in salary for next season, which will be roughly $20 million over the yet-to-be-finalized salary cap. The Heat cannot sign Howard to anything more than a mini-mid level exception next season of $2.5 million. No, they cannot just amnesty Chris Bosh and sign him — amnesty Bosh and you are still a few million over the salary cap, there is no realistic way to get $15 million or more below it. The Clippers are over the cap next year too and have massive extensions for Blake Griffin and Chris Paul coming.
Those teams — and most teams — could only get Howard via a sign-and-trade and neither the Clippers or Heat will give up the pieces the Magic will want (meaning Blake Griffin).
Who has cap space to sign him as a free agent? Indiana, New Jersey/Brooklyn, Dallas. This is not going to be LeBron James like because a lot of teams cleared out cap space for that race, not so much for this one.
I cannot wait for this Howard lunacy to end.
Phil Jackson asked Carmelo Anthony whether the star forward wanted to remain with the Knicks.
Apparently, what Anthony said publicly over and over and over and over and over was true.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
This further proves Anthony’s loyalty to New York.
A trade could’ve sent him to a better team with a more-desirable boss and netted him a $10 million trade bonus. But Anthony enjoys living and playing in New York, even with the tumult – including Jackson – that follows.
Now, it’s on Jackson to improve the roster around Anthony, repair player-coach relations and create a culture where the starting point guard doesn’t go AWOL.
Carmelo Anthony finally got his desired meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
At turn after turn after turn after turn after turn, Anthony has stated his loyalty to the Knicks. What has he done since to indicate he wants to leave New York?
Jackson, not Anthony, has fostered all this recent controversy.
Jackson built a crummy roster that faced a difficult path to the playoffs. Jackson used the code word “posse.” Jackson publicly critiqued Anthony for being a ball hog. Jackson mouthpiece Charley Rosen wrote “Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York.”
Anthony just wants to play basketball for a good team in the world’s biggest market – not work under a black cloud. Jackson is making it impossible for Anthony to get all his wishes, though.
So, the question falls to Anthony: Would he rather keep playing for the Knicks – and all that comes with it – or waive his no-trade clause to join another team?
For years, he has unequivocally answered that question publicly with devotion to New York. But the act of Jackson asking might invite a different response.
LeBron James said Warriors-Cavaliers isn’t a rivalry.
After Golden State beat Cleveland last night, Draymond Green interrupted a reporter’s question in his urgency to disagree.
Green, via CSN Bay Area:
Yeah, I think it’s a rivalry. So, yeah. Just me, though.
It’s definitely fun, you know? A team that you beat, that’s beat you – it’s definitely fun. I think, if you look at the last two years and this year, we’ve been the top two teams in the league each year. So, I look at it as a rivalry, and it’s definitely a fun game to play in.
But I don’t really care if anyone else see the game the game the way I see it. I see it how I see it, and they can see it how they do. I don’t really care. It’s fun, though.
This is a competitive game, a fun game to play in. And regardless of Bron thinks this a rivalry or not, I know he wants to beat us – and we want to beat them. And that’s enough in itself.
Of course, Warriors-Cavaliers is a rivalry. Green and LeBron have personally fueled it.
Maybe Green was just trying to knock some sense into LeBron last night.
Months into his first and only season with the Kings, Rajon Rondo declared himself to be the first veteran teammate ever respected by DeMarcus Cousins.
As he deals with new problems with the Bulls, Rondo is again trashing his former Sacramento teammates.
Rondo, via David Aldridge of NBA.com:
“It’s just, maybe, the personnel in this situation,” Rondo says in response. “I mean, last year — I hate to keep talking about last year — but you couldn’t name three people on my team, the Sacramento Kings, and I led the league in assists. You know? I don’t know. I believe so (that his skill set still has value), given the right personnel and the flow of the game.”
Rondo is right: Playing with Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade is not ideal, and his passing was an asset to the Kings.
He’s also proving his critics right: He’s too often a jerk.
Rondo has declined significantly overall, particularly on defense. His plus passing is barely enough to make him rotation-worthy. It’s not enough for teams cast aside his hardheadedness.
But is Rondo right that you can’t name three members of the 2015-16 Kings? Take this quiz to find out: