But as training camp neared and Anthony faced returning to the Knicks, he expanded his list to include the Thunder and Cavaliers.
Just how badly did Anthony want to leave the Knicks?
Sources say Anthony would have allowed the Knicks to deal him to Portland if the Knicks struck out with the other three.
Apparently, the Trail Blazers’ recruitment almost worked. Of course, the Knicks traded Anthony to Oklahoma City. But this report raises a couple questions:
How many teams would have Anthony approved in a trade? He obviously preferred to leave the Knicks, but he also had reasons to stay in New York. We now know Anthony preferred at least four teams to the Knicks, but how long is that list? Twenty-nine teams?
Did the Knicks err by sending Anthony to Oklahoma City? Maybe the Trail Blazers would’ve never beaten the Thunder’s offer (the Bulls’ 2018 second-round pick, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott). But if New York had played hardball, it could have at least brought Portland into a bidding war.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jusuf Nurkic apologized to Damian Lillard as they strolled back to their locker room, upset he had missed two free throws with less the three seconds left, giving the Brooklyn Nets a chance to either tie or win it at the buzzer.
All Lillard could care about was Nurkic’s heads-up play a couple of seconds earlier that eventually served as the game-winner.
Lillard scored 34, Nurkic added 29 and 15 rebounds, including eight in the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to edge the Nets 127-125 on Friday.
“After the game he was telling me, `Man, my bad I missed the free throws, I did this and I this that’,” Lillard recalled. “I stopped in the hallway, I said, `I don’t care about none of that, the most important thing is you made the biggest play of the game’.”
Portland trailed 121-115 with 2:20 left after former Trail Blazers’ guard Allen Crabbe floater. The Trail Blazers then scored the next eight points, capped by Shabbaz Nappier’s three-point play with 55 seconds left. Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie then evened it 123 with a putback layup after missing his own 15-foot pullup shot.
Lillard then freed himself off Dinwiddie’s tight defense as Nurkic set a pick at the 3-point arc, diving to the basket as the Portland point guard served him the ball. DeMarre Carroll then slid in to help on the coverage, blocking Nurkic right under the basket. Caris LeVert briefly had control of the ball before the Trail Blazers’ center snatched it away and put it through, drawing a foul and capping a three-point play with 27 seconds left to put his team ahead for good, 126-123.
“I learned never quit,” said Nurkic, who had eight rebounds and two of his four blocks in the final period. “There’s no lost possession. I see an opportunity to steal the ball and try to make a play. It (went) in.”
Despite Lillard’s words of encouragement, he was still beating himself for making 5 of 10 free throws.
“I know I am a way better free throw (shooter) than I am showing,” said Nurkic.
CJ McCollum chipped in 26 for the Trail Blazers, who found themselves down by 11 in the first quarter in a post-Thanksgiving noon tip.
The Trail Blazers’ defense held the Nets 0 for 5 from the field during their key fourth quarter 8-0 run, two days after a disappointing 20-point loss at Philadelphia.
“We made some good defensive stops in the last minute and a half and were able to convert in the other direction,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
Dinwiddie had 23 for the Nets, who have lost three straight games – the previous two to the defending champions, Golden State Warriors, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
After cutting Portland’s lead to 126-125 with 15.7 seconds, he had a chance to put the Nets ahead but missed a 3-pointer with 4:8 seconds left.
“I felt like it was a good look,” Dinwiddie said. “It bounced around the rim a couple of times but didn’t go in.”
In a season ravaged by injuries, the Clippers are stumbling and — especially if the stumbles continue — they will be left with a couple of hard questions. One is the future of Doc Rivers.
The other is the future DeAndre Jordan. He has a player option for next season and almost certainly becomes a free agent. While new Clipper president Lawrence Frank has said he wants Jordan to be a “Clipper for life,” other teams are calling Frank to see if Jordan is available. If the Clippers think they may not be able to re-sign him this summer, they have to consider their options. Including a trade.
Should the Cavaliers be one of those teams calling the Clippers? Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer had this answer to that question.
DeAndre Jordan’s numbers are down this season. He’s averaging 10.4 points and shooting .664 from the field (he only shoots twos). Even his blocks — 1.2 per game — are down from the 1.7 he averaged a year ago. Also, Jordan, 29, has a $24.1 million player’s option in his contract for next season. So, he could essentially be a rental. That said, you’re right, he’d thrive playing alongside LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas. Tristan Thompson was great against the Warriors in the Finals two seasons ago, and struggled mightily last year. A league source believes this move, Jordan for Thompson, is one the Cavs would consider. How the Brooklyn pick figured in remains to be seen (Cleveland also has its own No. 1 pick), but if the Cavs felt Jordan was the only piece missing for them to take down the Warriors they’d have to consider this.
First, Jordan’s numbers are down this season because Austin Rivers is feeding him the ball off pick-and-rolls, not Chris Paul. That’s a huge talent drop off. Jordan and Paul played well off each other, a decrease in counting stats was to be expected.
Second, it’s fair to ask if Jordan actually puts the Cavaliers on the level of the Warriors? I don’t see it, and if the Cavaliers don’t think he puts them on that tier, they should be careful about what they offer.
Finally, Jordan would be a rental, although the Cavaliers might be able to re-sign him if the price was right and LeBron stays.
What I’ve heard around the league is that the Brooklyn pick is off the table right now, that Cleveland may be willing to move their own first rounder (likely in the mid-20s). The bottom line on the scenario above, Jordan is an upgrade on both ends of the court over Tristan Thompson, even when Thompson is healthy. If the Cavaliers are all-in for a title this season, they have to seriously consider it.
Would a Thompson and Cavaliers pick get the deal done? Thompson has two-years, $36 million on his contract after this season, the Cavaliers might like to have the flexibility of Jordan’s expiring deal over TT (despite Thompson’s close ties to LeBron). However, would the Clippers take on that extra salary for just a late first rounder? Not likely. They will demand the Brooklyn pick at first. The question is will the Clippers come around to what the Cavaliers offer? Or will Cleveland decide that this season is more important than future protections and throw the Brooklyn pick in?
Other teams — Washington and Milwaukee are rumored among them — are calling the Clippers, too.
The first question is, will the Clippers want to trade DJ at all, or are they going to stand pat and try to re-sign him. The ball is in Lawrence Frank’s court right now.
Kyrie Irving has done good lately.
Not just during Celtics games. He gave his jersey and shoes to military members in the crowd, and he recently shared a Thanksgiving dinner with Boston families.
Irving also addressed the event.
Irving, via Nicole Yang of Boston.com:
“I see you,” he said. “I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it.”
“I think that the most important thing that I strive to live by is extremely by truth and by consistently giving others the truth, without any judgement, without constraints, without anything extra except the understanding that I see you,” he said. “I have family members who come from knowing energy, and it was passed along to me.”