Tattoo artists of New York, don’t get your hopes up too high yet, but a big new canvas could be coming to town… if you can find some space on it.
But like we said, don’t get your hopes up yet. We’re a long way from knowing how this story ends.
Chris Andersen — the Birdman — is still out there as a free agent power forward after being amnestied by the Denver Nuggets. And Andersen is willing to play for the veteran’s minimum, a source told Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
So who could use a shot blocking veteran big man who can score a little to come off the bench, and do so on the cheap?
The Knicks could. They are talking about adding a four to the roster, someone who can spell Amare Stoudemire and can play along side Carmelo Anthony. Ideally they would like Kenyon Martin but he wants more than the veteran minimum and that is all the Knicks can offer.
But the Birdman, he could be a fallback guy, Zwerling suggests. And Andersen likes the idea of playing in New York, where he could team up with Denver buddy J.R. Smith. He’s played with ‘Melo before as well. If not the Birdman, the Knicks could go with Andray Blatche, Louis Amundson or D.J. White.
But Andersen is represented by CAA, the firm that represents six Knicks (including Carmelo Anthony and coach Mike Woodson). So that’s a leg up. Actually with the Knicks having CAA involved is like giving Usain Bolt a 10-yard head start.
Before you ask Knicks fans, yes there are already 15 guys on your roster, which is the max. But Chris Smith (brother of J.R. Smith) has a partially guaranteed contract, which means he can be cut during camp. Zwerling said expect that to happen the Knicks to try and sign the Smith to a D-League contract.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.
Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):
This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.
Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.