Report: Carmelo Anthony plans to meet with select teams, make decision second week of July

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Carmelo Anthony is not going to drag this process out. We should all thank him for that.

Anthony has told the Knicks he is opting out of the last year of his contract and is going to test free agency, but he can’t officially talk to those other teams until July 1. Once that happens he has a plan, reports Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony hopes to make a decision on where he will play next season in the second week of July after taking several free-agent visits, a source told Yahoo Sports….

A source said there is currently no frontrunner for Anthony’s services, and he is expected to meet with the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. There was no mention of the Miami Heat. Anthony hopes to visit the aforementioned teams in their respective cities during the opening days of free agency. At the moment, no other teams are expected to get a meeting.

Anthony cannot officially sign a deal until July 10.

The Knicks were long the front runners, Anthony has told PBT and others that he wants to stay with the Knicks but he wants to see a plan where they can start to win, fast. Phil Jackson has made some smart moves the lat 48 hours, but converting the Knicks roster into something that can win is going to take a couple years, not a couple weeks. Anthony loves New York but may not be that patient. Jackson said he wants Anthony to take a pay cut to stay, but if it took a max offer to keep him New York would make it.

If Anthony leaves NYC, Chicago is considered the front runner — he can step right in as a four (if the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer as expected) and with Joakim Noah and if Derrick Rose can stay healthy, they are contenders (particularly if they don’t have to jettison Taj Gibson to get Anthony more money). Still Anthony would leave well in excess of $40 million on the table from the Knicks max offer to go to the Windy City (likely more like $50 million, depending on the final numbers). That’s a lot f scratch.

Dallas’ pitch got more interesting with the addition of Tyson Chandler (a good friend of Anthony’s) to go with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis. Houston can offer a near max and has James Harden and Dwight Howard, allowing them to form a “big three” in the West. The two questions for Anthony with both these teams are: Do I really want to go to the Western Conference, where even if I’m part of a powerhouse team the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and a lot of good depth looms? Do I want to move to Texas and a city where I have no ties?

The Lakers are a long shot, save that they have a big brand and Kobe Bryant.

If Anthony has learned anything from watching how LeBron James and recently Dwight Howard handled free agency, he needs to take the meetings quickly, keep them as quiet as he can, them make a firm decision relatively quickly. It’s a big decision with a lot of moving parts well outside of basketball, it’s got to be a family decision.

But Anthony seems committed to not dragging the process out. That’s good for all of us.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.