Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins: ‘All reports that I have’ say that Kevin Garnett will be returning to Nets


When Paul Pierce unexpectedly left the Nets in free agency to join the Washington Wizards, questions were immediately raised about Kevin Garnett, and whether or not he’d be interested in playing without Pierce in Brooklyn for the final year of his contract.

While we have yet to hear anything from Garnett himself on the matter, the reports have been trickling in for the past couple of months to the point where we now expect him to return to the Nets next season.

Brooklyn’s new head coach, Lionel Hollins, hasn’t heard from Garnett either. But he similarly seems to be counting on having the intense big man available by the time the new season begins.

From Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:

B/R: Staying in the frontcourt, what’s the latest with Kevin Garnett? Has he talked to you yet about returning?

LH: No, I haven’t talked about that with him, but all reports that I have [from team management] is that he’s coming back. It’s his right to make that decision or change his mind if he has decided to come back or not come back. I’m not worried about that. That’s out of my control. That’s a decision that KG and his family have to make, and I’ll leave it with him.

The communication between players and head coaches in the NBA has always been fascinatingly odd; it would seem to make perfect sense for Hollins to reach out to his players the moment he was hired (which he did), and it would seem just as reasonable for his players to get in touch with him shortly thereafter.

But regardless of when Hollins and Garnett finally do connect, he’s hearing the same things we are — which continues to send the message that Garnett will return for one more year with the Nets.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.