Again, if this is a surprise to you, welcome out of the cave from your long winter hibernation.
Carmelo Anthony has opted out of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks, something his agent Leon Rose confirmed in a statement to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.
“Carmelo loves being a Knick, he loves the City and the fans. At this stage of his career he just wants to explore his options.”
Those options include the chance to contend sooner rather than later.
The Knicks are cap strapped and rebuilding, it’s going to take a few years (at least). If contending for a ring now is Anthony’s priority over money than taking less to play in Chicago makes sense (or maybe Houston or Dallas, although why go to the deeper Western Conference?). Reports are the Heat may try to make a run at Anthony, too, but that would require a lot of salary cap gymnastics and a whole lot more money left on the table by some big stars. The Lakers could make a call, too, but interest there is lukewarm.
People around Carmelo said he was opting out and wanted the full “Dwight Howard treatment” of being recruited. He’s going to get that. Teams will chase him.
He just has to decide what matters most to him. Money? Being the star in New York? Contending immediately? Location? What does his family want? Anthony will get recruited but where he lands ultimately depends on what he wants most.
More and more that seems to be getting out of New York.
TORONTO (AP) — With rumors swirling about the Knicks chasing Raptors president Masai Ujiri, the Raptors have promoted Bobby Webster to general manager.
Webster, 32 years old assistant the youngest GM in the NBA, replaces Jeff Weltman, who left Toronto in May to become president of the Orlando Magic.
A former staffer at the NBA league office in New York, Webster joined the Raptors in 2013 and was named assistant GM in 2016.
He’ll help decide what to offer All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who opted out of the final year of his contract last month after Cleveland swept Toronto in the second round of the playoffs.
Forwards Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson are all unrestricted free agents.
Also Wednesday, Toronto promoted Dan Tolzman to assistant general manager.
The Raptors have posted consecutive 50-win seasons and made four straight playoff appearances.
NEW YORK (AP) — Former NBA point guard Jason Williams will miss six to eight months after suffering a knee injury in the opening game of the Big3.
Corey Maggette, also injured in the opening week of Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players, had surgery for a leg injury. There is no timetable for his return.
The injuries were announced Wednesday during a conference call with Cube and Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, who also detailed a couple rules changes starting with this weekend’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Games will be played to 50 points, instead of 60, with halftime coming when the first team reaches 25 points. Cube said that would help the four games per day move more quickly.
Phil Jackson’s exit is already opening doors for the Knicks.
No position differs more in the triangle from modern spread NBA offenses than point guard. But without Jackson demanding his point guard fit such a narrow profile, New York can pursue greater talents – like Jeff Teague.
Ian Begley of ESPN:
With Phil Jackson out and the triangle de-emphasized, the Knicks, under general manager Steve Mills, have interest in free agent point guard Jeff Teague, league sources told ESPN. League sources say the interest in Teague is mutual.
The Knicks aren’t as desperate at point guard after drafting Frank Ntilikina, but Ntilikina probably isn’t ready to run an offense full-time yet. Teague could be a stopgap – which might be necessary considering New York can’t easily pivot into rebuilding with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee locked up.
Teague’s future with the Pacers appears uncertain with Paul George on the trade block. A key part of Larry Bird’s retooling last summer, Teague and Indiana might be headed in different directions now.
The Knicks make as much sense as anywhere for Teague – now that Jackson is gone.
The Rockets and Clippers both turned aggressive with today’s Chris Paul trade.
Houston is making a bold attempt to overtake the Warriors (a plan that could include other big moves). The Clippers are launching into rebuilding.
Kurt Helin breaks down what it means for both teams.