Carmelo Anthony said from the start he had a timeline: Meet with teams the first days of free agency, think through his options over the long holiday weekend, then make his decision.
Well, he flew around the country and met with teams, now we’re through the long holiday weekend, so…
The buzz around the league is to expect word on Monday. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports is a little more vague gut sees an answer soon.
The decision appears to be down to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers can offer a max contract of four years, $97 million dollars. Anthony would get to play with Kobe Bryant (and possibly Pau Gasol), plus the Lakers’ pitch played up the off-the-court Hollywood opportunities he would get. Anthony spends his off-seasons in Los Angeles already.
The Knicks can offer more money and one more year — five years, $129 million — and the pitch is that Phil Jackson is going to turn around the organization with his vision. And Anthony likes that vision. Plus he loves living in New York.
The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks also all made pitches but seem to have not caught Anthony’s eye. All three have started to make moves to go after other targets more aggressively, a sign they know how the Anthony movie ends for them.
Anthony choosing a team would be the first of two moves needed to break open the bottleneck that has slowed free agency. The other is LeBron James, who is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley the first part of this week and make a decision one way or another on his future in Miami. Once those two decide a lot of things will likely start to happen fairly quickly around the league.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.