Denver Nuggets Andre Iguodala reacts against the Golden State Warriors during Game 6 of their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Oakland

Report: Kings were in Andre Iguodala sweepstakes, then pull out

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UPDATE July 3, 2:05 am: The Kings pulled their max offer to Iguodala off the table and now will no longer pursue him. This caught Iguodala off guard.

July 2, 9:58 pm: With Tyreke Evans reportedly receiving a high-priced offer to play in New Orleans, the Sacramento Kings are looking at going in a different free agent direction.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

The Sacramento Kings have made Denver Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala their free-agent priority, according to sources familiar with Sacramento’s thinking.

Sources told ESPN.com the Kings, meanwhile, are leaning strongly against matching the offer sheet restricted free agent Tyreke Evans is planning to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans on July 10.

The Kings were thinking about matching the offer for Evans, which is in the neighborhood of four years and $44 million. While saying “that’s Stephen Curry money” is factually correct, Curry would have been closer to a max player had the Warriors not extended him at the beginning of last season, and before he was fully recovered from the ankle injuries he’d been dealing with since the year prior.

That’s still a ton of cash to throw at a player like Evans, who hasn’t evolved into the star most were projecting he’d become after his rookie season. Plenty of that can be blamed on injuries and the way that Kings ownership mismanaged the coaches and personnel in charge of his development, and perhaps he will improve to the point where he lives up to that contract.

But it won’t be in Sacramento, and that’s probably a wise choice for the new people in charge of running the Kings franchise.

As for Iguodala, the Nuggets have maintained all along that they’d like to keep him. But instability in the front office, with the loss of GM Masai Ujiri and head coach George Karl, may make Denver a less appealing destination.

Although if the dollars are anywhere near similar, and given the way the two rosters are currently constructed, it would be tough to envision Iguodala choosing Sacramento.

UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the offer from the Kings is four years, $56 million. That’s a big number for Denver to match for someone with Iguodala’s skill set.

Report: Carmelo Anthony tells Phil Jackson he wants to stay with Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during a stop in play against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: In ‘far more contentious’ meeting, Phil Jackson asked Carmelo Anthony whether he wanted to stay with Knicks

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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.

Draymond Green counters LeBron James: Warriors-Cavaliers is a rivalry

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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.

Rajon Rondo: You couldn’t name three players on 2015-16 Kings, but I led NBA in assists

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 09:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Sleep Train Arena on March 9, 2016 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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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: