Dan Feldman

Report: Knicks-Rockets Carmelo Anthony trade talks ‘fairly dormant’


The Knicks and Rockets re-engaged on Carmelo Anthony trade talks a couple weeks ago.

The teams apparently haven’t made much more progress than their last attempt.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN (hat tip: reddit user AminElHassavag)

Carmelo Anthony right now, those talks have been fairly dormant between Houston and New York. They’ve tried to find third, fourth teams – the Rockets have – to help facilitate a deal with Carmelo Anthony. They haven’t been able to do that. And both sides are prepared for the fact that Melo may have to go to camp with the Knicks.

There’s just no easy way around the problem that, no matter how many other teams Houston and New York try to rope in, someone must be left holding Ryan Anderson or Meyers Leonard or some other undesirable contract at the end of the day.

So, what now?

Anthony reportedly told the Knicks he didn’t want to return. They sound as if keeping him is inconsequential to their stated priorities of youth and player development.

At some point, Anthony might have to declare whether he’ll waive his no-trade clause for a team other than his preferred Rockets. Staying in New York wouldn’t necessarily be so bad for him. But if the Knicks can expand the market, they might find a workable deal to send him elsewhere.

Did Bucks offer Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and first-round pick for Kyrie Irving?

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The Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder for Kyrie Irving. That seemed like a huge overpay in a vacuum – and maybe even worse in context.

The Timberwolves said they wouldn’t trade Andrew Wiggins. The Suns reportedly told Devin Booker and Josh Jackson they wouldn’t be dealt for Irving. The Knicks reportedly weren’t interested in swapping Kristaps Porzingis for Irving. The Nuggets were rumored to be unwilling to include Jamal Murray and Gary Harris in an Irving trade.

What was the Cavaliers’ next-best offer?

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

Whether a team offered a trade or just discussed it can get lost in the fog of negotiations.

But dealing Irving for Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick would’ve made some sense for both sides.

Irving is a premier young talent. In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo would’ve mitigated Irving’s limited distributing skills while Irving would’ve added helpful ball-handling and isolation ability.

Middleton is the type of 3-and-D wing the Cavs must load up on to challenge the Warriors. Brogdon could’ve stepped in as a low-usage, spot-up point guard next to LeBron James. And an extra first-round pick is ammo Cleveland needed.

But the Cavaliers took a better offer from Boston, leaving a trail of conflicting reports.

During the process, the Cavs might have wanted the Suns to believe there was another viable offer on the table to prompt one from Phoenix. Whether or not that Bucks offer was ever actually made, that could explain why someone primarily covering the Suns leaked it.

That puts Milwaukee in damage-control mode, wanting Middleton and Brogdon to feel stable and valued. Again, that applies whether or not the players were actually offered for Irving.

Whether or not this offer was ever actually made, Cleveland accepted a better one from Boston.

Rumor: Isaiah Thomas disliked by ‘a lot’ of Celtics teammates

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The Cavaliers got so much for Kyrie IrvingIsaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder – it seemed one of those assets going from the Celtics to Cleveland had to be tainted. Maybe it’s Thomas hip.

Or is it Thomas’ personality?

Chris Broussard of Fox Sports 1:

I spoke to several executives or texted with several executives last night, and a lot of them were saying that a lot of the players in Boston really weren’t that fond of Isaiah. We know he had those problems in Sacramento and in Phoenix. I didn’t know he was having those issues — according to these executives — in Boston.

He is known as a headstrong guy. He’s got a huge ego. They he’s got the Napoleon Complex. He always has that chip on his shoulder.

Once he granted these executives anonymity, Broussard owned their words. It’s on the reporter to verify the veracity before passing them along when it comes to disparaging someone like this.

This isn’t Joe Vardon reporting that people close to LeBron James believe Dwyane Wade will get bought out by the Bulls then sign with the Cavs. Whether or not Wade will actually get bought out then go to Cleveland is beside the point. That LeBron’s camp thinks it will happen is newsworthy in itself.

The executives Broussard cites are so anonymous, we don’t know whether their understanding of Thomas’ relationship with his Celtics teammates is relevant. By citing these anonymous executives, Broussard is staking his credibility on them.

That he’s already distancing himself from their sentiments is telling.

I’m also skeptical given the timing. Player gets smeared on the way out the door? We’ve seen that countless times as teams try to justify a trade after the fact.

A few of Thomas’ former Boston teammates are already sticking up for him.

Evan Turner, via Jared Weiss of Celtics Blog:

“I met IT in high school, we always been tight,” Turner told CelticsBlog after the trade. “The kid has literally acted the same with me since I was 16. I just don’t see how that even comes out. I’ve never known him to be an [expletive] or disliked by anyone. He’s not arrogant or anything. Dude works his [expletive] off.”

“It’s funny that that was ever mentioned. I never heard anyone in any part of life say anything bad about him! Especially as a teammate. He was always there working his [expletive] off before and after practice. That little dude worked! Can’t say anything bad about him.”

Kelly Olynyk:

Jared Sullinger:

Of course, just three of the 24 teammates Thomas had in Boston sticking up for him doesn’t disprove the report. There’s still plenty of room for ‘a lot’ of Celtics to dislike Thomas.

Sure, Thomas can be headstrong. He’s obviously not afraid to tell it how he sees it.

But despite being 5-foot-9 and the last pick in the draft, Thomas has built himself into an All-NBA player. He works relentlessly hard and sets an incredible competitive tone. His admirable career track earns him the right to carry himself with an ego and chip on his shoulder.

If – if – Thomas had Boston teammates whom he rubbed the wrong way, maybe that says more about them than him.

Flint scholarship plan gets $1M from Pistons owner Tom Gores

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and a Michigan utility’s foundation are each committing $1 million to help fund college scholarships in Flint in the wake of the city’s water crisis.

The $2 million in combined pledges announced Wednesday aim to create a “Flint Promise,” starting with students graduating next spring. It’s not clear how much has been raised, though Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration previously had a $5 million goal.

Gores, a Flint-area native, says “every student who works hard deserves a chance to earn a college degree.”

Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe calls the foundation’s commitment a “down payment on a bright future” for Flint.

Many scholarship details are still to be determined.

Legislation to make Flint eligible for state funding to help finance the program has languished.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.