When the San Antonio Spurs signed Marco Belinelli this summer, it made you wonder if they would bring back restricted free agent Gary Neal. The Spurs have 14 roster spots filled right now, match Neal and they have the full 15 (and now wiggle room to add guys) and they would carry eight guards. That’s not likely.
The belief is the Spurs will not match any offer for Neal. The Bucks may be one of the teams ready to put that theory to the test.
Milwaukee is one of four teams “in the mix” for Neal, reports Gery Woelfel for the Journal Times.
We don’t know who the other teams are, although there has been some buzz about Detroit. The Bucks have lost Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick, and while Neal is a reserve he could provide them needed depth.
Neal is a solid reserve guard who started some in a pinch for San Antonio last season. He gave them 9.5 points a game and is a career 39.8 percent shooter from three who can put the ball on the floor as well.
Some team is going to pick him up. Apparently that might be the Bucks.
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.