Marvin Williams

Jazz could get Marvin Williams back from Achilles early in season

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Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke was doing a Google hangout/chat talking all things Utah when he dropped in an interesting little nugget:

Reserve forward Marvin Williams could be back from his Achilles injury by training camp or early November, a couple weeks into the season.

Williams is in the last year of his contract and will make $7.5 million, and he is going to want to put up numbers and get paid a little. How he does that coming off a severe injury remains to be seen.

The question with Williams is fit —Locke thinks he should be more of an undersized backup four than a three. The problem is floor spacing — he shot 32.5 percent from three last year and nobody is going to follow a stretch four out to the arc who can’t shoot better than that (he shot 38 percent from deep two seasons ago). Last season he grabbed more rebounds and got to the line more in his limited time as a power forward but the shooting held his game back (he shot 42.3 percent overall and doesn’t finish all that well inside). The drop off from Derrick Favors to Williams is pretty steep.

At the three the Jazz can roll out a few guys depending on matchups, but there will be a heavy dose of Gordon Hayward there and again the drop off to Williams is pretty steep. And if he can’t space the floor knocking down shots his value drops fast. Also, he will be slowed defensively a little coming off this injury.

Williams will get a chance this season because the Jazz are not going to be good and Tyrone Corbin is going to be searching for lineups that work (or at least don’t suck). But what Williams does with this chance remains to be seen. He needs to be better than last season.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

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.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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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.