Author: Dan Feldman

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers

John Henson says he and Bucks ‘close’ on contract extension

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John Henson and the Bucks were reportedly close on a contract extension July 13.

Since then, nothing.

But it doesn’t seem this was a Tristan Thompson-level falling out.

Henson, via Gery Woelfel of

“We’re close,’’ Henson said of contract talks. “We’re just trying to work out some details. It’s a process; we’ll see what happens. But I definitely want to be here for a long time.’’

A lot of extension eligible players say they’re “optimistic,” but I read “close” differently (though perhaps Henson didn’t intend that distinction).

The Bucks don’t need Henson quite as much with Greg Monroe, but Henson provides an important defensive element. He moves well and protects the rim, making him an excellent fit in Jason Kidd’s scheme. Plus, Henson has shot efficiently.

I appeared on the Dunc’d On mock-contract-extension podcast. I negotiated as the Bucks, and Nate Duncan played Henson’s agent. For what it’s worth, we agreed on a four-year, $44 million extension.


LeBron James: ‘I could definitely use a couple more months off’

LeBron James

LeBron James has played more minutes, regular season and playoffs combined, than anyone since entering the NBA in 2003 (43,331).

In fact, the difference between LeBron and second-place Joe Johnson is bigger than between Johnson and 15th-place Dwight Howard.

How’s LeBron – age 30 and entering his 13th season – feeling?


I feel just as healthy as I did my rookie year – nah, absolutely no. I could definitely use a couple more months off.

But it is what is. I’m ready to go. I will be on the floor tomorrow at the start of training camp.

I got a little bit crazy with my workout regiment in September. I was doing three-a-days five days week. So, I believe I improved. Did I get enough rest? I don’t think so, but I definitely improved. I feel good about where I’m at right now.

With Iman Shumpert sidelined for at least three months, the Cavaliers can’t afford to give LeBron two months off. But how about one month?

I don’t think he actually wants to sit out training camp, but he probably could. LeBron understands the playbook, and he could work his way back into shape during the regular season.

The playoffs matter more than anything for Cleveland.

If I were the Cavs, I’d let LeBron dictate his workload so he’s most prepared for the postseason. It seems, his own fatigue concerns aside, he wants to play now. That might be for the best, especially because sitting could derail his September progress.

And if all else fails, LeBron could take his break during the season, like he did last year.

Carmelo Anthony expects to play power forward

Carmelo Anthony
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Carmelo Anthony has said he prefers playing small forward over power forward.

That has bothered many Knicks fans, because he has been better at power forward over an increasingly large sample.

Good news, New Yorkers.

Melo, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be at the 4; especially with the makeup of this team, I’m pretty sure I’ll be there,” he said. “…. The way that the game is going now those are the same positions. It really doesn’t matter at this point.”

I don’t see New York’s roster the same way. Besides Arron Afflalo, who will play on the wing when Melo slides to power forward?

Langston Galloway? Cleanthony Early? Sasha Vujacic? Lance Thomas? Thanasis Antetokounmpo? Wesley Saunders? Derrick Williams?

Galloway is the only one of that group who probably belongs in an NBA rotation, and he might be better at point guard.

But stretching the wing rotation to get Melo to power forward might pay off. Both the Knicks and Melo have consistently performed better with him at that position. Per 82games:


Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 93.4/100.6/-7.2
  • Power forward: 108.4/102.6/+5.7

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 20.5/11.6/+8.9
  • Power forward: 25.1/13.1/+12.0


Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward:  96.3/ 95.8/+0.4
  • Power forward: 100.3/ 98.7/+1.6

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 22.0 /13.7/+8.2
  • Power forward: 27.1 /14.8/+12.2


Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward:  99.1/ 95.2/+3.9
  • Power forward: 101.7/ 95.8/+5.9

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 21.8/12.8/+9.0
  • Power forward: 24.8/13.4/+11.4


Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 96.5/96.0/+0.5
  • Power forward: 103.2/94.9/+8.3

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 17.4/11.8/+5.6
  • Power forward: 29.5/12.8/+16.7


Rating (offensive/defensive/net)

  • Small forward: 107.2/107.7/-0.5
  • Power forward: 113.6/97.2/+16.4

PER (Anthony/opponent/net)

  • Small forward: 22.7/15.4/+7.3
  • Power forward: 28.8/23.3/+5.5

The Knicks’ net rating with Melo at power forward has been better than with him at small forward all five seasons he’s played for the team. His individual PER difference has been better the last four years.

Phil Jackson should build a roster that frequently puts Melo at power forward. If these Knicks are better with Melo at small forward, that’s an indictment of the roster construction, not Melo’s ability to play power forward.