Carmelo Anthony speaks in third person about trade rumors: “‘Melo hasn’t said anything yet”

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t getting traded without Carmelo Anthony’s permission. That’s because of Phil Jackson — and let’s be honest here, probably on orders from owner James Dolan — gave Anthony a no-trade clause.

And Carmelo Anthony wants you to know he hasn’t said anything about waiving that clause yet. Not for the Clippers, not for the Cavaliers, and not for the Celtics.

The brilliant Jeff Zillgitt at the USA today talked to Anthony about all the trade rumors, and Anthony answered the question in the third person. Which is the best part of his answer.

“I hear the new report every day,” Anthony said Tuesday morning. “Every day is a new team. ‘Melo said this, Melo said that.’ Melo hasn’t said anything yet. That’s what I will say. Melo hasn’t said anything yet….

“That’s more about what I care about — my family, my son being comfortable in New York and at an age now where he really gets an opportunity to understand being in New York and having a home there and having friends there and my wife working there and having her opportunities there,” Anthony said. “I think about that more so of my decision for my career. At the end of the day, it will come down to my decision, but I think about what my family is thinking and what they’ll have to go through if anything.”

When he was a free agent, Anthony decided to stay with the Knicks for two reasons: More money and his family wanted to be in New York. Two very valid reasons. He’s got the money now if he waives that clause — more actually, he has a 15 percent trade kicker. But the family considerations are real.

That doesn’t mean Anthony will not waive the clause, he told Zillgit that the direction the Knicks want to go and the place the other team is in — and yes, if he has friends on it — all will be considerations. But like you and me making a big career decision, there are a lot of factors in play.

For Phil Jackson, the real problem with getting this deal done will be finding a deal that he likes. Teams are taking on a hefty salary for a 33-year-old player, they are not sending guys at their peaks back. It’s going to be a combination young players, role players, and picks if the Celtics are in play. And not as many of any of that as the Knicks want.

I still bet he doesn’t get moved until this summer. But the rumors will continue for another three weeks until the deadline passes.

 

DeMarcus Cousins answers first several Kings-related questions same way (video)

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DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.

Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.

Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.

Justin Verrier of ESPN:

Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.

Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.

Report: Sweet-shooting 7-footer Lauri Markkanen leaving Arizona for NBA draft

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Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.

That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.

Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.

Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.

Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.

There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.

But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.

Dwyane Wade wowed by jumping, around-the-back alley-oop pass in McDonald’s All-American Game (video)

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Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.

In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.

Carmelo Anthony on shrinking role with Knicks: ‘I see the writing on the wall… I’m at peace with that’

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Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.

Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”

Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?

Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.

Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.

Could Anthony be at peace with that?