Kurt Helin

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

Another report Denver likely to sign Mike Miller

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Not long after it was announced the Trail Blazers were going to buy out Mike Miller as expected, Denver came up as a potential landing spot, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Now comes more confirmation that once Miller clears waivers on Wednesday he is likely headed to the Mile High City, this time via Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that Miller, who was formally waived Monday by the Portland Trail Blazers, is poised to sign a one-year contract with the Nuggets barring any late snags.

Miller has two rings from his years in Miami, he’s a former Rookie of the Year, and he’s a well-respected veteran in the locker room. The Nuggets have 14 guaranteed contracts, so they have the roster spot, and like him enough to have gone after him in the summer of 2014 (Miller chose to chase a ring with LeBron James).

Still, it’s a bit of an odd fit. Denver is a team in transition with Emmanuel Mudiay coming in to run the point, some quality players such as Danilo Gallinari, and some guys who could be moved such as Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler. Miller, if he can stay healthy again, gives the Nuggets a little wing depth, but he’s not likely to see a ton of run.

Will Drummond wait on extension to help Pistons?

Andre Drummond
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Way back in the middle of July, just after the initial flurry of free agent activity had subsided, Pistons’ Big Kahuna Stan Van Gundy said they would start to talk contract extension with Andre Drummond. Because the Pistons are fully committed to Drummond, and he is a clear max contract guy, this should have come together quickly.

But as we reach the end of September, there is no deal.

What gives? Drummond wasn’t talking at Pistons’ media day, but Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press explains the situation well.

“Everybody comes to a point in time in their career when they are going to deal with contract situations, and it’s better that I keep it as a personal thing and just focus on what I can control right now, which is making my team better,” Drummond said on the eve of training camp…

The Pistons would like to wait and put off the extension until next off-season. If Drummond agreed, his hold of only $8.2 million would count against the 2016-17 salary cap, not the $20-million hold if he were to sign before Oct. 31.

The Pistons could use that roughly $12 million during the league’s free agency period – and then use their Bird Rights on Drummond to go over the salary cap and retain their own free agent.

The Pistons are asking Drummond to do what the Spurs asked Kawhi Leonard did for the Spurs to help them sign LaMarcus Aldridge. He held off on his extension for a year, which gave the Spurs some financial flexibility, and then they came back at the end with the expected max contract.

However, that comes with risk for Drummond — if he were to suffer a severe injury this season he might never see that money. Notice that this summer a number of top players, including Kevin Love and Anthony Davis, took security over a potentially larger payday.

If Davis pushes for the security, the Pistons will give him the extension now. It’s just something to watch going forward.

Kings’ Karl, Cousins call their relationship “solid”

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings
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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
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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.”