Carmelo Anthony did all he could to help his team win on Friday, but as has been the case more often than not this year, his effort simply wasn’t enough.
New York dropped a double-overtime game in Orlando that left them four and a half games out of a playoff spot in the East, despite Anthony finishing with 44 points and 11 rebounds.
The trade deadline came and went without the Knicks making any deals, and that’s probably a good thing considering what they were about to get back in exchange for Iman Shumpert. Anthony wasn’t interested in discussing his team’s lack of improvement after the loss, however, essentially saying that it wasn’t his place to comment on front office decisions.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Carmelo Anthony isn’t sure whether the Knicks standing pat at the trade deadline while their competitors improved was the right or wrong thing to do. But he knows not to dwell on it.
“We didn’t make any moves,’’ Anthony said after the latest disastrous loss, a 129-121 double-overtime defeat to the Magic on Friday night. “Should we have or not? That’s not for me to say. We didn’t, we move on. We have the same team and have to move on.’’
That’s not exactly the same as Kobe Bryant saying he doesn’t want any input on the Lakers free agent decisions, but it’s in the same vicinity.
The difference in Anthony’s case is that he himself will be a free agent this summer, and has said specifically that he wants to see the team’s future plans before he considers whether or not to re-sign.
No deal the Knicks would have made at the deadline would have improved the team enough on paper to guarantee a playoff spot via a second half push. Anthony likely realizes that, which is why the question of what the team will do in the offseason is far more important to him than the one of what could have happened at the deadline that has already passed.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.