Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• The Brooklyn Nets signing of Josh Childress is official. While that is technically a non-guaranteed contract he is expected to make the team and get minutes off the bench behind Gerald Wallace.
• Dexter Pittman has gotten his chance in Miami and has not impressed. Or not enough. At least not yet. The Palm Beach Post’s Ethan J. Skolnick says Pittman will need a good camp to make the team, he is on the bubble.
• From our daily “Player X got so much better this summer” comments file, we bring you Tyshawn Taylor saying he spent the offseason “shooting a million” jumpers and saying he got a lot better at it.
• If I were a betting man, I would think Ivan Johnson is going to sign the qualifying offer the Hawks gave him, play this season in the ATL and become an unrestricted free agent next year. But so far he has done nothing, he has not signed anything with anyone. By the way, the Hawks have put themselves in a spot where they can’t match any offer larger than the bi-annual exception for him ($2 million a year). But nobody seems to be offering that much.
• Ryan Gomes is expected to get a workout with the Bobcats next week. I kind of like that fit.
• The Celtics are bringing in Rob Kurz for training camp on a non-guaranteed contract. Which means he’s camp fodder.
• Along the same lines, the Nets have invited Carleton Scott to training camp.
• This has been rumored for a while, but the Heat have officially signed Garrett Temple for camp.
• Chris Mullin and Phil Jackson are going to be talking about philosophy and basketball at an event in the Bay Area this weekend, if you’re around.
• Former Cavalier Manny Harris has signed with BC Azovmash of the Ukrainian league.
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.