DeJuan Blair finished his fourth season with the Spurs as a restricted free agent, but after falling out of the rotation in San Antonio and with the Spurs not looking to match any offers he may have received, Blair might has well have been unrestricted this summer.
The offers weren’t exactly pouring in, despite Blair’s respectable level of offensive production.
He did eventually find a home though, signing with the Mavericks on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum salary of $884,293 on Wednesday.
Blair will have his opportunities to show what he can do in Dallas in order to try to earn himself a longer-term deal for next season and beyond. He’s proven to be a good rebounder but has historically been a liability on the defensive end, and playing the power forward or even the center position as part of a smaller lineup, that’s not something most teams can afford to deal with for more than a few minutes at a time.
Blair averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14 minutes per game for the Spurs last season. With his signing complete, the Mavericks roster now stands at the league maximum of 15 players.
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.