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

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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 rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.