Up to this point, Anthony has not been willing to waive his no-trade clause, and he has said he wants to be active in recruiting free agents to the Knicks this summer (although his reported targets may not be the best options). I believe he wants to help bring respectability and eventually a contender to NYC.
But this summer his 15 percent trade kicker becomes valuable (it couldn’t go above the max salary before, but this summer’s salary cap spike means the max goes up and the kicker is in play). He agrees to leave, he gets more money. He’s only going to go to a contender, and likely in a major market (he and his wife like NYC), but the money, at least, opens a discussion that wasn’t going anywhere before.
Jackson also discussed other issues around the Knicks.
Phil didn't think they'd keep .500 pace at 22-22: "Teams don’t come back from 17 wins and win 41. It’s not the way it is."
We know the Sixers’ history, they are going to be cautious when their young stars suffers an injury.
Which is why we will not see any more Jahlil Okafor this season. Here is GM Sam Hinkie, from the official press release Friday:
“Jahlil recently started to experience discomfort in his right knee, which we immediately investigated. As a comprehensive series of tests and additional evaluations by our medical team, it was revealed he has a small tear of the meniscus. Jahlil will undergo a minor arthroscopic procedure to address the injury. Timing and details of the procedure will be finalized in the coming days.
“Our medical team will continually monitor and evaluate Jahlil’s progress, and we anticipate he will resume full basketball activities in about six weeks.”
That is after the season and means his summer workout program.
Hopefully this is not serious, as the Sixers made it sound. With a meniscus tear the options are removal or trim and repair, the latter is better for the player long-term and it sounds like what the Sixers are looking at considering the recovery time and his youth (removals, as was done with Dwyane Wade years ago, are rare now).
After being drafted No. 3, Okafor had an impressive rookie season — 17.3 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting, with a PER of 17.4 — which is what most expected. He was the most NBA-ready of the top draft picks last June, but not the one with the highest ceiling.
Still he has looked like someone who can be a central piece of what the Sixers are slowly building in Philly. He and Nerlens Noel are going to be good NBA players, even if they can’t play next to each other on the front line.
PBT Podcast: Knicks future, DeMarcus Cousins, Twitter questions with Dan Feldman
It shouldn’t be, but those are the news stories of the day, which Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk discuss in this podcast. Other topics include your Twitter questions on the Bucks, Lakers and if Durant could end up in Toronto.
Will Barton knows how to throw it down. He just picked the wrong year to enter the dunk contest.
The Nuggets’ Barton has been throwing down amazing in-game dunks all season, and you can add this double-pump to the mix. The Nuggets got to the rim all night and became the latest team to put the beatdown on the struggling Suns, 116-98. Barton had 17 off the bench.
Three takeaways from NBA Thursday: Kobe says goodbye to LeBron with vintage performance
1) Kobe Bryant drops 26 on LeBron James in final meeting, but Cavaliers cruise past Lakers for the win. We knew how this game was going to end, didn’t we? Sure, the Lakers beat the Warriors last week, but lightning striking twice and all that. The Cavaliers are clearly the more talented team, pulled away in the second quarter with an 18-8 run, and never looked back on their way to a 120-108 win.
But the fans fill Staples Center now to see Kobe, and the guy known for rising in big moments throughout his career was in rare form for his final meeting ever against LeBron. If your kids play basketball, have them watch Kobe’s footwork clinic — he works LeBron more than once with just perfect execution on his way to 26 points.
2) The Spurs execution slowly kills the Bulls, and San Antonio improves to 55-10 on the season (and remains perfect at home). There were moments of hope for Chicago fans, their team would hang around seemingly within striking distance. But then the Bulls would turn the ball over — they did that 21 times — or miss an open look, and suddenly on the other end Kawhi Leonard would be getting the shooter’s role on a three and the moment would pass. San Antonio did to shorthanded Chicago (no Jimmy Butler still) what they do to everyone — execute. Relentlessly, consistently all game long. Until the other team’s errors become their undoing. It’s not flashy like Golden State, but it’s just as effective (the Warriors have the better record, but the Spurs have the better net rating). Leonard had 29 and LaMarcus Aldridge 26 in the San Antonio win.
3) Toronto found its defense again, at least for a night, and handled Atlanta. Before the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors had a top 10 defense, which helped fuel them to the two seed in the East. Since the All-Star break, the Raptors have allowed 7.6 points more per 100 possessions and have been 24th in the NBA defensively. Their offense has continued to carry them to wins, but if they want to win in the playoffs they are going to have to get their defensive groove back. Which is why this Raptors 104-96 win over Atlanta Thursday was a sign of hope — the Hawks had an offensive rating of just 96.1 points per 100 possessions. Toronto held key players like Jeff Teague — 4-of-15 shooting — in check. Start to do that consistently and everyone in Toronto can get back to worrying about how their weakness at the four will get exploited in the postseason. By the way, DeMar DeRozan was a beast and dropped 30.