Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

Full court press to recruit Carmelo Anthony begins, Knicks get first shot


Up until July 1, the New York Knicks are the only team that can talk with Carmelo Anthony officially. The guy about to take advantage of his free agent status — he is going to opt out and he wants the “full Dwight Howard treatment” of being recruited — is in a holding pattern for most teams.

The Knicks are trying to take advantage of that exclusive window.

Despite reports they already met, Phil Jackson, newly hired coach Derek Fisher and the rest of the Knicks brain trust will be in Los Angeles this weekend to woo Anthony, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The New York Knicks are sending a high-level delegation – including president Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan – to Los Angeles this weekend to sell All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony on a future with the franchise, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

For Anthony, who plans to become a free agent July 1, this meeting will likely include his first chance for a face-to-face with new Knicks coach Derek Fisher, sources said.

Despite the urgings of Phil Jackson, ‘Melo is going to opt out of his current contract come July 1 (he has until June 23 to formally notify the team). Anthony is going to test the market.

Which means the Knicks have to make their case. New York can offer the chance to be “the man” on the biggest of stages, Derek Fisher has talked about how Anthony would thrive in the triangle, plus the Knicks can offer the most money, although Jackson has urged Anthony to take a pay cut to stay in New York, giving them more flexibility to build around him.

However, if Anthony is going to take a pay cut, why not do so to move to an already built team that can win now? Chicago and Houston are the two teams in the front of that list.

Or how about Dallas? They will have cap space, won 49 games last season and their current alpha dog Dirk Nowitizki told the Dallas Morning News he and Anthony can play well together.

“I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass — I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner. If Carmelo would really love to come here, we’d love to have him, and if not, then we’re looking at some other options to make this franchise better and be a winner and be in the playoffs every year again. So whoever comes, whoever does decide to play with us, we’re more excited to have them.”

Dirk is making it known it can work. The Knicks are making their pitch. There will be much, much more coming.

As we have said here before, Anthony ultimately needs to decide what matters most to him. He says winning, but at this point in the process everyone says winning. Is it winning on his own terms, with a team built around him? Is it money? Is it being the biggest star in the biggest market? Is it where his family feels most comfortable? Or is it really just collecting rings?

Those answers should guide Anthony towards his destination. And only he can answer those questions.

But he’s going to get his wish, he’s going to get recruited heavily.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.