Getty

Report: Carmelo Anthony open to waiving no-trade clause for Rockets and Cavaliers

21 Comments

The long, awkward saga between Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks continues.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Carmelo Anthony is now open to waving his no -rade clause if he were to join the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers in a swap.

Anthony and the Knicks have been at an impasse all season long, with the star forward holding all the cards given his contractual ability to reject any trade. It has certainly worked for Anthony up to this point, as former Presisdent Phil Jackson was let go last week.

Via Twitter:

The Rockets are a seemingly attractive destination for Carmelo now that the Los Angeles Clippers have traded star point guard Chris Paul over to join James Harden. Houston also added P.J. Tucker to the wing. After Harden’s MVP performance in 2016-17, no doubt they will again and be challenging for a top for spot in a strengthening Western Conference.

Meanwhile the Cavaliers have been rumored to be a destination for Anthony for the entire season, and it’s obvious after a five game series in the 2017 NBA Finals that LeBron James needs a little more help to get past the Golden State Warriors.

The big problem here of course is that both the Rockets and Cavaliers are over the salary cap, so whatever players they send back toward New York exchange for Anthony would have to have matching salaries.

Anthony makes a whopping $26 million in 2017-18, so the returning options for both Houston and Cleveland would have to be salary filler. Neither team are likely to send one of their major contract star players back to New York, so the incentive would have to be pick-based.

That’s a big problem given that both Cleveland and Houston have already sent their first round picks for 2018 to the Hawks and the Clippers, respectively. Teams must comply with the Stepien rule, which says that they cannot trade their first round draft picks in consecutive years.

The only way to get around this would be for them to either offer New York their 2020 first round picks or trade back for their outgoing 2018 first rounders before a deal with New York took place.

Looking at the salaries for Cleveland, we would be looking at a package based around Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye with filler salary attached as well as draft pick compensation.

Houston is in a stickier situation given that they would not be able to make a trade for Carmelo without sending back Ryan Anderson to the Knicks due to their current salary situation. It’s unclear whether New York would want Anderson for the remainder of his contract, which lasts through 2019-20.

No matter how you slice it, getting Carmelo to either of these teams is not going to be pretty. Both teams are in a situation in which they are likely trying to add Carmelo without decimating their current talent base. Neither team has any third party first round draft picks to offer the Knicks, and it’s not clear whether a package combined with second round picks would be able to get Anthony out of the Big Apple.

We also don’t know where the Knicks are at with Carmelo now that Jackson is out of the loop. They could be exasperated with him, and looking to move Carmelo with little hope of recovering even close to equal compensation. That would work out more in Cleveland and Houston’s favor in terms of actually getting a deal done. If New York wants a more standard compensation package, the issues could go farther than the salaries.

The Knicks are weird — and so is this NBA offseason — so I wouldn’t put it past the forces that be to get Carmelo out of New York.

Report: Kyrie Irving considered requesting a trade after Cavaliers’ championship season

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
1 Comment

Kyrie Irving reportedly made his desire to leave the Cavaliers known during his first few years in Cleveland. Then, LeBron James returned and that talk quieted – for a while. This offseason, Irving renewed his trade request, reportedly before the draft then again to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert last week.

But this has apparently been percolating throughout Irving’s time in Cleveland – even at the Cavaliers’ peak.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

When Irving signed his deal, he expected to be the franchise player for the foreseeable future. But about two weeks later, James arrived from Miami. The sudden change of situation rocked Irving, and he has vacillated at times over the past three years about working as a secondary star to James and the original plan of having his own team.

He discussed the challenge during last month’s NBA Finals.

“Having just a tremendously great player like that come to your team, and you see yourself being one of those great players eventually, and then he ends up joining it, and then now you have to almost take a step back and observe,” Irving said. “Finding that balance is one of the toughest things to do because you have so much belief and confidence in yourself. … Selfishly, I always wanted to just show everyone in the whole entire world exactly who I was every single time.”

With this in mind, Irving considered requesting a trade after the Cavs’ championship last year but decided against it, sources said.

Irving is catching a lot of heat for wanting to ditch LeBron and the consensus second-best team in the NBA. Imagine if Irving requested a trade immediately after a title!

This is yet another example of winning curing all ills. Irving clearly sees playing a supporting role as suboptimal, but he was willing to do it when Cleveland was winning a championship. Now that the Cavs title chances have slipped (hello, Kevin Durant-boosted Warriors) – even just to second-best in the entire league – Irving has prioritized his exit.

We’ll see how this affects Irving’s image. That’s important for such a prominent endorser. But it’s safe to say a trade request last summer would have gone over far worse with the public.

Report: Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns recruiting Kyrie Irving to Minnesota

11 Comments

When Draymond Green and other members of the Warriors spent time recruiting Kevin Durant to come to Golden State it made sense — he was about to be a free agent who could make his own choices. Watching players such as C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard recruit Carmelo Anthony to Portland makes sense — ‘Melo has a no-trade clause so he needs to waive it to go anywhere, so recruiting makes sense.

This one makes less sense, but it is happening — Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are recruiting Kyrie Irving to come play in Minnesota. Brian Windhorst of ESPN has the reporting.

League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.

This could happen, but just about anything could happen the door is wide open with Irving to a lot of teams. That said, here are my two thoughts.

First, recruiting Irving is nice, but he has zero say in where he gets traded. Irving does not have a no-trade clause, he is not a free agent, he has two years left on his deal and the Cavaliers will/should send him to the team that gives them the best return. What Irving wants is irrelevant (although teams trying to get and keep him may take it into consideration).

Second, Minnesota could put together an interesting package, but there would be hurdles. It would likely involve one or both of Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague. Wiggins can be extended this summer, but that salary would not count toward the salary in this trade so someone such as Cole Aldrich would need to be thrown in (and it would take more than that, there would need to be picks). More likely, it would take Jeff Teague and his $19 million salary to get a deal done — except the Timberwolves signed him this summer so Teague cannot be traded until Dec. 15.

If the Cavaliers can’t find a deal they like this summer, they can step back and look at their options, then decide to wait out the market and bring Irving back to start the season. At that point, a deal with the Timberwolves makes more sense.

In the short term, Butler and KAT can recruit all they want.

Report: Kyrie Irving initially requested trade before draft – to Bulls

Jason Miller/Getty Images
9 Comments

Kyrie Irving reportedly asked Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert last week for a trade.

But that apparently wasn’t the first time Irving approached Cleveland about a trade this offseason.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Another league source said that Irving made his initial trade request before last month’s Draft, in hopes of being traded to Chicago and playing with All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler.

That’s around the time Irving reportedly told former Team USA teammates – who include Butler – that he might be interested in a trade and was keen on the Bulls. It seemed that was in preparation for LeBron James leaving in 2018, but Irving’s timeline might have been accelerated.

Irving and Butler are close, but the Cavs went the other way with that information – trying to line up a trade for Butler. Cleveland obviously didn’t pull of a deal, as Chicago dealt Butler to the Timberwolves.

Beyond Butler, the Bulls lacked the assets to trade for Irving. Yes, LeBron and Dwyane Wade are friends. No, Wade’s value is not anywhere remotely near Irving’s. And remember, without a no-trade clause and contracted for two more years before a player option, Irving has minimal leverage to pick his destination.

This report also negates the idea that Irving hurt the Cavaliers and his own likelihood of getting dealt by not requesting a trade before players like Chris Paul and Paul George were settled. Maybe Irving could have been more insistent earlier, but he at least gave a full offseason of notice that he was ready to move on.

AP source: Justin Zanik, David Morway join Jazz front office

Leave a comment

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements with Justin Zanik and David Morway to join the front office.

Zanik returns to the Jazz after serving as assistant general manager from 2012-16, the person told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions had not been formally announced.

Zanik, a former agent, had been hired as assistant general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks and was expected to succeed general manager John Hammond one day. Hammond was named GM of Orlando Magic in May and the Bucks eventually hired Jon Horst.

Morway was the Pacers’ GM from 2008-12 and Bucks assistant GM from 2013-15. He spent 13 years in the Indiana front office, starting as vice president of basketball administration.

ESPN first reported the agreements.