Report: Dwight Howard ‘badly’ wants Carmelo Anthony to join Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony had his first free agent meeting with the Bulls on Tuesday, a place that would seem to be at the top of his list if winning now while playing in one of the nation’s biggest markets is indeed the priority.

Next up is Houston, and while it doesn’t offer the same exposure as playing in New York or Chicago could provide, it does have two All-Star players firmly in place who could certainly help Anthony rack up plenty of victories.

One of those players is reportedly very interested in securing Anthony’s services.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Rockets stars Dwight Howard and James Harden are going to attend the Rockets’ meeting with Anthony, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Howard, according to sources, is eager to pitch Anthony on the Rockets. Sources say Howard was trying to track down Anthony’s cell phone number to contact him directly to make a pitch over the phone. It is unclear if the two connected, but Howard is believed to be enamored with the idea of playing alongside Anthony.

“He really wants to sell him on Houston,” a source with knowledge of Howard’s thinking said. “He wants Carmelo there badly.”

Houston already shed the contract of Omer Asik to begin to create some cap space, and reportedly, Jeremy Lin would be next to go should Anthony decide that the Rockets are truly his best option.

It’s just difficult to see how that would be the case.

The Rockets are doing the right thing by attempting to assemble a roster full of proven stars, but adding Anthony would be more like a fantasy basketball move than one that truly fits the team’s needs. Houston would have too many holes at other positions if it was able to create the cap space to sign Anthony to a four-year max deal that he would certainly require, and as badly as Howard may want to add an elite scorer to the roster, it’s tough to see Anthony choosing the Rockets over a Bulls team that’s more properly constructed, and better-suited to contend for a title with Anthony in place.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

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The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.

Aaron Gordon throws himself alley-oop off backboard (video)

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Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?

The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.

There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.

PBT Extra: Three things to watch with Boston in wake of Hayward injury

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Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.

What next for Boston?

In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.

Gordon Hayward addresses Celtics and fans from hospital bed (video)

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Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.

Hayward:

What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.

At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.

And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.