Kurt Helin

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings

Kings’ Karl, Cousins call their relationship “solid”


Nothing to see here, move along.

After a summer where things were frosty in the desert of Las Vegas between Kings coach George Karl and their star player DeMarcus Cousins (Karl was talking to other teams about potential trades, something the front office was not down with), but the two men sat down and everything is good. At Kings’ media day Monday, everyone stuck to that script, as noted by Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty.

I think Rajon Rondo summed it up well at Summer League when saying he had a good relationship with Karl so far.

“We haven’t played any games, coach Karl hasn’t kicked me out of any practices yet, so we will see how it goes,” Rondo said with a smile.

And that’s where we are with the Kings — it’s the first day of training camp and everything is good. Everyone is saying the right things, everyone is on the same page. If the Kings can continue to do that when they go on a losing streak, or when Rondo/Cousins disagree with Karl, then maybe this team can pull together a surprising season. But they’re going to have to prove it.

For now, things are just solid.

Derrick Rose mentions 2017 free agency, eyes that cash

Derrick Rose

NBA players all over the league noticed — Wesley Matthews got $70 million while still recovering from a torn Achilles, Reggie Jackson got $89 million, Enes Kanter got $70 million, and we could go on — and they drooled. Both publicly on Twitter and privately. They saw the impact of the new television deal, all the cash flooding the system, and they wanted to get their share.

Derrick Rose among them.

At Bulls media day Monday a reporter asked Rose a question about the civil lawsuit filed against him, and Rose’s answer was about how he’s not paying attention to it — but one of the things he was paying attention to was all the money flying around. And he wanted a piece. It was an unsolicited response, something noted by CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill.

The Bulls have been loyal to Rose, who has played just 100 regular season games total in the last four seasons. But this is a business. Rose has loyalty to the Bulls, but if another team offers boatloads more cash?

Before you comment about how “he’s just greedy,” or “he has no loyalty or love of Chicago” ask yourself this: Would you leave $10 million or more on the table? If you said yes, you’re lying. While the occasional long-time veteran will go David West and walk away from $11 million to chase a ring at the end of his career, that is not the norm. Nor should we expect it to be. NBA players have a limited window to make money, and you can’t blame them for trying to get all they can.

The more interesting question is what kind of a market there will be for Rose in 2017? He will only be 28, but there are a lot of miles on those tires. Obviously, it depends on how he plays the next couple seasons, and how healthy he can stay.

Anthony, Knicks keeping expectations low after 17-win season

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2015 - Arrivals
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — No bold predictions from the New York Knicks. No real predictions at all, actually.

“To be quite honest, I don’t really have any expectations at this time,” Carmelo Anthony said.

Maybe he shouldn’t. He’s never played with most of his teammates and the ones who were Knicks last season didn’t exactly distinguish themselves, as New York went 17-65 in its worst year ever.

But media day is usually a time for high hopes and fresh starts, when players and coaches speak confidently about how good things can be. Just last year, Knicks President Phil Jackson even said he thought his team would compete for a playoff spot.

Anthony isn’t ready to say anything like that yet.

“It’s going to take some time to kind of figure out what our expectations will be,” said the All-Star forward, who is fully recovered from knee surgery in February. “It’s good not to have any expectations at this time. It gives us a chance to kind of have a fresh start, get our identity.”

That will start when the Knicks open training camp at West Point. Anthony and many of the Knicks’ newcomers have been working out together for a few weeks, but Tuesday is when they finally do it with the coaching staff.

It’s also when rookie Kristaps Porzingis, the No. 4 overall pick from Latvia, can start figuring out his NBA potential. He said Monday he doesn’t know yet, keeping with the theme of keeping expectations low – or absent.

“All that I know is that I’ve played against the guys, pickup games, 5 on 5, that’s how I can rate myself,” he said. “But now that training camp has started, the real deal is here.”

He played 1-on-1 games this summer with Anthony, who reiterated again that he supported the Porzingis pick even though reports after the draft said he didn’t. The 20-year-old forward said he won some of them and appears to have also won Anthony’s respect, with the 13th-year pro looking to help his new teammate understand the pressure he will face in New York.

Jackson couldn’t land another superstar to pair with Anthony but signed a number of veterans who have been contributors on winning teams, such as center Robin Lopez, guards Arron Afflalo and Sasha Vujacic, and forward Kevin Seraphin.

Seraphin was with the Washington Wizards when they made the gradual climb from the lottery to the playoffs and thinks the Knicks can follow the same process.

“I think if we keep working out, putting everything together that we can do some great things,” he said. “I think we have a good team and we can surprise people.”

It’s hard to say if Anthony would be one of them, since he was so guarded with his thoughts about the team’s potential. He couldn’t even take much from watching them last season after his surgery, since he didn’t know who would be coming back.

He said he wants to reward Jackson’s confidence that he can be the centerpiece of a winning team at 31, and doesn’t think he is running out of time to do it.

“My window is open. I don’t think it’s closing, but for more the most part coming into this year I think we get a chance to write our own destiny right now and that’s a good thing,” Anthony said.

“We can start off fresh, start off with a clean slate and we can write whatever story we want to write, whether good or bad. And I think guys are excited about that, to have a chance to start off fresh and kind of put the past behind us and move forward.”

Hoiberg doesn’t think Derrick Rose needs nights off

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Derrick Rose has played 100 regular season games total in the last four NBA campaigns. That’s out of a possible 312 games. He’s had surgeries to both knees (an ACL and a meniscus), hamstring injuries, toe injuries, back injuries, and the list goes on and on. The number of minutes former coach Tom Thibodeau asked Rose to play (not to mention the rest of the team’s core) was one of the reasons he was forced out.

Which is why this comment from new coach Fred Hoiberg at Bulls media day raised some eyebrows (and sounded more like spin than reality). Courtesy PBT’s own Sean Highkin, who was at Bulls media day:

Rose is going to get nights off this season. Hoiberg would not have this job if he didn’t plan to reduce minutes and load on the core players, with the goals of having them stay healthy and be fresher for the playoffs. It’s not just Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are going to get some breaks, and younger guys like Jimmy Butler are not going to get run into the ground.

I think this was more about Hoiberg saying “Rose looks like Rose again.” Which he had only in flashes last season, we’ll need to see more of it before I fully buy in. However, Rose is feeling confident, as noted by Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

On another note out of training camp, in the half court in particular look for the Bulls to try to play off the high IQ game of Pau Gasol.

That’s a good plan, although at 35 Hoiberg needs to make sure Gasol gets some rest, too.

Kyrie Irving has been running for three weeks

Kyrie Irving

If the Cavaliers are finally going to bring a title to Northeast Ohio, they are going to need Kyrie Irving. And titles are not won in October and November — but you can lose them there. Meaning the Cavaliers are being cautious with his return from a fractured kneecap suffered in the first game of the NBA Finals.

But he is getting better — he’s back to running. That said, he’s not all the way back, but he’s improving. Irving talked about his return at Cavaliers media day, as reported by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Chris Haynes.

Kevin Love (shoulder injury, also in the playoffs last season) will be ready to go at the start of the season.

Irving is expected to be out longer, likely missing the start of the season. The fact he’s running is a good sign, but it’s also different from the cutting, starting and stopping that is part of the pressure put on a knee during a game. Again, the Cavaliers are thinking about Irving in June, not October, when mapping out his return.

That said, he will be back long before the calendar turns to 2016.