Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

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


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.

Byron Scott doesn’t care about exhausting Lakers in preseason

Byron Scott
Leave a comment

The Warriors use wearable technology to track players and have rested them when the data revealed fatigue. Gregg Popovich is holding relatively healthy Spurs out of practice. Heck, Popovich doesn’t even send himself to every preseason games.

Meanwhile, with the Lakers…

Lakers coach Byron Scott, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“I don’t necessarily care about tired legs in preseason,” Scott said. “I think everything that we’ve done thus far will pay off at the end of the day. You’ve got some guys that might have tired legs and [are] a little worn out, but all the running as far as getting into that physical condition that we need to get into, I think in December and January, it will pay off.

“So I’m not necessarily worried about guys having tired legs in preseason. They’ll just have to kind of fight through that fatigue part of it. And I think mentally it gets them a little stronger anyway.”

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers coach has a reputation for demanding a lot of running in the preseason. It’s important in his mind because the Lakers will be better conditioned than other teams down the road.

Players, predictably, aren’t as enthused about it.

Bresnahan quotes just two players, Brandon Bass and D'Angelo Russell, and neither expressed much resistance to Scott’s methods. But I trust Bresnahan to read the team’s pulse.

I also think Scott is right: Fighting through fatigue builds mental toughness. But it also makes players tired, and it’s not the only way to instill toughness. The Warriors are tough. The  Spurs are tough. They didn’t have to run their players into the ground to get that way.

Scott loves to project himself as old-school and anti-analytic. Thankfully for the Lakers, his actual methods aren’t as bad as he conveys. For example, he said the Lakers would take an absurdly low 10-15 3-pointers per game last season. In reality, they hoisted nearly 19 per game, 25th in the league. That might not have been enough for that roster, but at least it wasn’t leaps and bounds below the norm.

So, I’m not convinced Scott is pushing the Lakers as hard as he wants everyone to believe. But he’s  clearly giving them a bigger workload than many teams.

If the Lakers are playing relevant games late in the season, this could come back to bite them. On the bright side, they probably won’t have to worry about that problem.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
Leave a comment

Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.