Paul Pierce, Chris Wilcox, Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson says he would love to return, play in Boston


Al Jefferson is going to be a sought-after free agent this summer — big men who can get you 15 points and 11.8 rebounds a game, can pass and bring a good work ethic to the locker room are not that easy to find.

Predicting where he will play next season is impossible — if he gets traded mid-season it could impact his decisions, as it could if the Jazz choose to make a push to keep him.

But he’d love to come back to Boston, he told A. Sherrod Blakely of

“This will always be my home away from home, first place I’ve been; gave me a chance when nobody else did,” added Jefferson. “If that (returning to Boston) ever happened, I’d love to do that again. But right now, it’s all about taking care of business and finishing the season off right.”

The Celtics are not bringing him back next season — they already have more than $71 million in committed salary on the books for 2013-14 (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green all make $9 million or more, for starters). That will have them well over the salary cap, up near the luxury tax, and without the means to offer much more than a mini-mid level. Jefferson is going to take a pay cut from the oversized $15 million he is making this season, but at age 28 next season he is going to get offers in and around eight digits a season. Boston can’t swing that without a trade.

But it’s always nice to hear he thinks fondly of you, Boston. Look at it that way.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

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.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
1 Comment

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.