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Carmelo Anthony suggests talk with Phil Jackson is necessary amid trade rumors

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The relationship between Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks president Phil Jackson appears to be rather frosty these days. It might just have frozen solid after Anthony responded to an article written by Jackson’s long-time friend Charlie Rosen.

According to the New York Daily News, Anthony was asked about the article in which Rosen suggested Carmelo had “outlived his usefulness in New York”.

Although Anthony understood the article was not written by Jackson, he felt the closeness of his and Rosen’s relationship warranted something strong.

Via NYDN:

When asked to respond to that particular line the article, Anthony said: “If that’s the case than that’s what’s coming from that side I guess it’s a conversation we should have. If they feel like my time in New York is over I guess that’s a conversation we should have.”

“Listen,” Anthony said, “if that’s what they feel…if that’s what’s coming from that side that’s what’s coming from that side. I haven’t thought once about that to be honest with you. I hear it. I hear all the rhetoric that’s going on out there and I still come to work every day and play and bust my ass and try not to worry about it.”

As Kurt pointed out here at Pro Basketball Talk, suggested trade suitors for Carmelo — including the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Clippers — all have significant road blocks to a deal even making sense for them, much less if Anthony was actually willing to waive his no-trade clause.

Still, the intense nature of the dysfunction between Anthony and Jackson is starting to feel extremely awkward, especially as both parties begin to play the PR game within the media.

As it’s been pointed out before, it’s hard to get a deal done for Anthony given his contract, no-trade clause, age, and diminished benefit in terms of his on-court play. He’s settled into who he is as a player, and there are few teams wanting to give up assets for a guy in his situation.

Meanwhile, the Knicks continue to fall down the Eastern Conference standings.

New York lost to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, 116-101, making them 18-23 on the season.

Magic sending Raptors draft pick as compensation for hiring Jeff Weltman

AP Photo/John Raoux
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The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.

That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat value.

In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.

LeBron James still striving to surpass Michael Jordan

AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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LeBron James has discussed chasing Michael Jordan’s “ghost,” motivating himself by trying surpass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.

Just 27 points behind Jordan for the all-time playoff scoring lead – a record he could break in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 5 tonight – LeBron is again discussing that pursuit.

LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said Thursday before Cavs shootaround in preparation of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated — that’s all.”

“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It’s just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know — and it should be the same for us.

Jordan or LeBron? Save your hot takes. LeBron just burnt them all.

The greatest quarterback of all time is never debated? Claiming that is now the hottest take in the entire realm of the Jordan-LeBron debate.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue: Kyrie Irving feeling ‘good’ after ankle injury

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BOSTON (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says that Kyrie Irving‘s left ankle is feeling “good” in advance of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup Thursday night with the Celtics.

Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs’ morning shootaround.

The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier‘s foot. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.

Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night.

Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.

Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable with a right hip pointer. Jae Crowder is probable with a left groin strain, and Amir Johnson is probable with a right shoulder sprain.

Danny Ainge: Lonzo Ball declined to work out for Celtics, who hold No. 1 pick

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LaVar Ball said his son, highly touted draft prospect Lonzo Ball, would work out for only the Lakers.

You thought he was bluffing?

Celtics president Danny Ainge, whose team holds the No. 1 pick, on 98.5 the Sports Hub:

We just tried to get him in for a workout, and they politely said no.

It’s not ideal.

Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them.

Good for Ball. Professional sports teams already hold inordinate power over players entering the workforce. In no other industry are top young employees assigned to a particular company, the worst-performing companies typically getting priority, with no ability to bargain with competitors.

Ball wants to play for the Lakers, who offer proximity to his family and hold the No. 2 pick. He can’t force Boston to pass on him or Los Angeles to pick him. But he can influence decision-making.

It seemed likely the Celtics would draft Markelle Fultz, and though they could still pick Ball, him declining a workout with Boston makes that only less likely. The Lakers will probably draft Ball, but this plan carries risk. If they pass, he could fall once he gets to teams less familiar with him.

Still, Ball deserves to decide for himself how to manage his career – especially in such a closed job market. Not working out for the Celtics is probably his best path to getting where he wans to go.