Way more than fans, NBA players get that they are commodities in a business. They want to get as much as they can while they can because they know the window closes fast. Guys may be a little jealous of other players’ deals, but nobody really begrudges each other making money.
So long as they feel the player earned it.
Which is why what Jerry Stackhouse told Sports Illustrated (transcribed by the New York Post) about the Jeremy Lin contract is telling. Guys around Las Vegas (where everyone is melting and going to Summer League) were shaking their head.
Stackhouse, an 18-year NBA veteran, said in a video interview on SI.com that the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet was too much to match “for a guy that’s only played 25 games for you…
“I think it’s too much, I think they’re gonna look back three years from now and say we maybe could have used this to go out and get another player,” Stackhouse said. … “I think it’s going to hamper them.”
I’m not going to rehash the Lin debate — the Knicks made a bet that Raymond Felton can regain his old form (or close to it) and that was more affordable. It’s a fair bet on the court, the off-the-court intangibles are hard to measure. New York made its call.
But what Stackhouse said is the fit-for-print version of what a lot of players around the league think.
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.
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.