Walt Frazier thinks Carmelo Anthony is going to stay in New York

28 Comments

It is way more fun to speculate about where Carmelo Anthony is going to land than to say he stays put. It’s far more fun to ride the “what did Anthony say today?” roller coaster.

However, the conventional wisdom is he stays a New York Knick.

Yes, he stands a better chance of winning a ring if he were to jump ship to whatever your fantasy destination is — Chicago, Miami, etc. However, if he wants to win that way next season he likely has to leave better than $7 million a year — north of $30 million guaranteed over the course of the deal — on the table. The Knicks can offer the max of nearly $22 million and no other contender is expected to be in that ballpark (most are in the $14 million range).

If you just said to yourself “he’s already made $135 million in salary alone he’d leave it” I would suggest you’ve never had to leave $30 million on the table before. It’s not that simple. Especially since this is likely his last max deal.

Knicks legend and broadcast color commentator Walt “Clyde” Frazier thinks Anthony stays put. That’s what he told The Big Lead (in an interview primarily focused on his fashion choices):

“I think he’s coming back. Where’s he going to go? People said Chicago. I don’t think that’s a good fit for him. They’re more of a team. They don’t want one guy dominating the scoring. I don’t think that’s a good fit for Melo. LA? You never know if he has aspirations for Hollywood. You never know with different players. Those would be the only two teams I’d think he’d consider. I think he’ll stay in New York.

“After 2015 (the Knicks) have a lot of money. Amar’e (Stoudemire) is off. (Andrea) Bargnani, I think, is off. (Anthony’s) a good businessman. People tell me that. The other thing is money. He’ll leave a lot of money on the table leaving New York. People say he has a lot of money but so does Bill Gates. Everybody still wants to make money. You can’t make enough money. To walk away from $20-30 million to leave New York to go someplace else? When he considers everything he’s going to stay with the Knicks.”

I think Frazier is right. You never know how things will ultimately shake out, but in the end I bet Anthony chooses the market he pushed hard to get to, I bet he chooses going down a Knicks legend rather than chasing a ring.

Plus, I bet he chooses the millions of dollars.

Who is betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year? Lonzo Ball? Ben Simmons? Depends.

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.

It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.

The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):

Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4

The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line

Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1

Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.

This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Check out the first NBA 2K18 trailer (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.

To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.

You can pre-order the game now.

Aging Pelicans’ owner couldn’t remember Anthony Davis’ name in deposition

Getty Images
2 Comments

Tom Benson, the now 90-year-old owner of the New Orleans Pelicans and the NFL’s Saints, a few years back changed around the succession of control of the team after his passing — his wife Gayle will take control. Rita Benson LeBlanc, Benson’s granddaughter and former handpicked successor, sued saying Benson had been manipulated. After meeting privately with Benson, a judge ruled that while Benson suffered some “cognitive impairment” he was capable of making his own decisions and that Gayle remained the successor.

Benson has been sued multiple times since then, including by former Saints employee Rodney Henry, and the then-89-year-old Benson was deposed in that case last year.

Someone broke the gag order and sent a copy of the deposition to The Advocate of New Orleans, and it shows that Benson’s mental acuity is fading. He couldn’t remember who Anthony Davis was by name.

During another set of questions, apparently aimed at establishing how close Benson and Henry had been, Benson was shown a photo of the two men with Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

“Who is this?” Williams asked.

“It’s Rodney and a basketball player,” Benson said. “Oh, hell, I forget his name. Let me — he’s a great player for us. Tell me his name, and I will tell you yes or no.”

When asked “is it Anthony Davis,” Benson said yes. The man is 90, I’m not sure that we should expect much. He had the foresight to bring in people to run his businesses — including his sports teams — and set up a line of succession for when he does pass. Smart moves.

Would Benson’s mental state impact potential changes coming to the Pelicans? Probably not. New Orleans’ GM Dell Demps bet big on going big in a league trending smaller, pairing Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. If that doesn’t work out, plenty of people around the league expect a house cleaning on the basketball side with the Pelicans. Benson’s mental state, whatever it may be, does not impact that.

The deposition leak came from an anonymous source (and anonymous email account, the paper verified the document before publishing). Who leaked it? It may be nearly impossible to find out, but only one side benefits from all this becoming public. And it’s not Benson.

K.J. McDaniels signs with Raptors for camp, can he make roster?

Getty Images
2 Comments

A few years back in Philadelphia, the athletic K.J. McDaniels was a highlight factory and looked like a guy who could develop into a role player on the wing in the NBA.

Except, he never actually developed. Houston gave him a chance (three years at a total of $10 million), and it didn’t work out, then last season Brooklyn had him for 20 games, but they decided to move on.

Now Toronto is going to give him a chance, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

McDaniels’ agent later confirmed the news. This is a training camp, make-good contract for McDaniels. But unlike a lot of those contracts being handed out around this time, there is space on the Raptors roster for a player or two.

McDaniels will compete with Alfonzo McKinnie, Kennedy Meeks, and Kyle Wiltjer for one of the final roster spots in Toronto. Of that group, I’d most likely want to keep McDaniels because of the shot blocking and his potential — but his outside shot has to improve.

The Raptors can carry 15 on the roster and very possibly will until at least Jan. 10, which is the date these partially guaranteed deals become fully guaranteed for the season. Toronto is flirting with the tax line, and ownership is not going to want to pay the tax for this team, so if they do carry 15 they likely will cut it to 14 by that date.