New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter of Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in New York

Carmelo Anthony says his window is closing, wants to bring the Knicks a championsip


In advance of Carmelo Anthony’s ability to opt out of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent, he’s going to get asked a lot of different questions that are aimed at getting a response that will clue us in to what his future plans may be.

This continued on Saturday, when Anthony spoke to reporters while attending his camp for children at Queens College.

The topic of free agency was quickly shot down by Anthony, who responded that he was focused on today and would deal with it when the time comes.

But after playing 10 NBA seasons, the thought of a championship seems more at the forefront of Anthony’s thoughts, and if he’s serious about earning one before it’s all said and done, that could obviously affect his free agent decision.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“My window is closing,’’ Anthony told the campers. “I’m trying to bring a championship to New York ASAP.’’

Later on, Anthony specified he was not referring to his window closing as a Knick. He has an opt-out clause after this season but said he honestly hasn’t given it a minute’s thought on what he will do.

Anthony is nowhere near retirement, and if he is as committed to New York as he’s seemed to be since forcing his way there in a trade from the Nuggets in 2011, he could still re-up there with a new deal before going ring-chasing with another franchise in the final years of his career.

It’s worth noting, though, that while the Knicks finished the regular season with the second best record in the Eastern Conference, most aren’t picking them to be any higher than fourth next year behind an improved Pacers team, a Bulls squad that is expected to return Derrick Rose, and of course, the two-time defending champion Heat.

If a championship is what Anthony is after, then you could make the case that leaving New York could give him a more immediate shot to do that. But like all of these remarks, it’s silly to try to read too much into any one statement — considering that even Anthony himself has no idea what he’ll feel like doing at the end of next season.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.