Tag: Carmelo Anthony

PBT Extra: How will Paul George injury impact future of USA Basketball?

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The advantage USA Basketball has is depth. No LeBron James or Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge or Carmelo Anthony? No problem, we just roll out the next crop of stars. And we keep on winning gold.

But when one of those stars goes down — Paul George with a horrific injury that will cost him at least a season — the questions about whether stars will keep playing for the Stars and Stripes and if teams will try to keep their best players out of the competitions becomes the story.

That’s what Matt Stroup and I discuss in the latest PBT Extra. How will everyone react to the George injury long term and could we see a change for the Olympics or other future competitions?

Team USA’s World Cup roster still has unprecedented star power

Team USA Practice Session

No Blake Griffin.

No Kevin Love.

And now no Paul George.

Team USA has definitely lost significant talent since releasing its initial World Cup player pool.

Still, the team’s star power remains unprecedented.

There’s no perfect measurement for star power, but All-NBA selection is as good as any. Team USA still has two All-NBA first teamers (Kevin Durant and James Harden), a second teamer (Stephen Curry) and a third teamer (Damian Lillard).

Sure, Griffin and Love, both second teamers, and George, a third teamer, will be missed. But a lot of talent remains.

Remember, this is not an Olympic year, when Team USA draws its biggest stars. The American World Cup roster compares very favorably to past editions for the event (nee the World Championships).

Here’s how many All-NBA players from the year prior made the Team USA World Cup/World Championships roster since NBA players began competing in 1994. First teamers are red, second teamers blue and third teamers white.



  • Kevin Durant (first)
  • James Harden (first)
  • Stephen Curry (second)
  • Damian Lillard (third)


  • Kevin Durant (first)


  • LeBron James (first)
  • Elton Brand (second)
  • Dwyane Wade (second)
  • Carmelo Anthony (third)


  • Jermaine O’Neal (third)
  • Paul Pierce (third)
  • Ben Wallace (third)


None (NBA players, anticipating a lockout, elected not to participate.)


  • Kevin Johnson (second)
  • Shawn Kemp (second)
  • Derrick Coleman (third)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (third)
  • Mark Price (third)
  • Dominique Wilkins (third)

So how should we compare seasons? I use a simple scoring system that follows All-NBA voting – five points for first team, three points for second team and one point for third team.

With 14 points, the 2014 class leads.


Of course, Jerry Colangelo hasn’t made his final cuts. I’m counting Lillard, and he might not even make the team. After all, with Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and John Wall, the Americans are absolutely stacked.

Which is the point.

Tony Parker didn’t get a no-trade clause in his new Spurs deal. Why not?

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five

The Spurs announced a three-year contract extension for Tony Parker on Friday, one that will pay him the maximum amount allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, and will come in at just under $44 million in total.

But it won’t come with it the added security of a no-trade clause.

NBA rules are extremely prohibitive where no-trade clauses are concerned, and players like Parker who sign extensions to stay with their current team are not rewarded for their loyalty with the ability to veto a trade out of town in the future.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

For those asking why Tony Parker did NOT get a no-trade clause in his new deal, it’s because no-trade clauses can’t be added to extensions

This is Tony Parker’s third successive extension w/Spurs. Third successive time, in other words, San Antonio has kept him off open market

All six NBA players who have full no-trade clauses had to opt out and get to the open market to get them: Kobe, Duncan, Dirk, KG, Wade, Melo

Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony joined the very select group of players with this particular power by opting out of the final years of their respective deals this summer, even though it was extremely unlikely that either of them would end up agreeing to a deal to play anywhere else.

The Spurs value continuity above all else, along with players who will sacrifice a bit to fit into the team’s championship-level culture. Parker has proven to be a perfect match, so he isn’t likely worried about being traded anytime soon. And, San Antonio hasn’t made a habit of dealing its best players while in the midst of its current run of making the playoffs in 17 straight seasons.

Knicks sign second-round pick Cleanthony Early

Cleanthony Early

The Knicks don’t get to draft that often.

Before this year, they’d chosen only once in each of the previous three drafts. And they had no selections planned for this year. Plus, they’d already traded their 2016 first rounder and next three second rounders.

But Phil Jackson dealt for the No. 34 and No. 51 picks, bringing New York into the NBA’s strongest draft in a decade. You better believe the Knicks weren’t going to squander those selections already.

Knicks team release:

New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Cleanthony Early to a contract.

Because the Knicks used the full taxpayer mid-level exception on Jason Smith, they can offer Early only a minimum contract. The deal can be up to two years – $507,336 this season and $845,059 the next.

Increasingly, players drafted in Early’s range get two years guaranteed, and I’d guess he did too. But because the Knicks are so intent in preserving cap space for next summer, I also wouldn’t be surprised if Early received only one fully guaranteed season.

In the meantime, he’ll try to earn some minutes behind Carmelo Anthony. Early, coming out of Wichita State, is fairly NBA-ready for a second-round pick. But he’s still a second-round pick. Anything positive contributions this season should be viewed as a bonus.

Bulls owner issues statement refuting rift between Bulls front office, Derrick Rose


“Nothing to see here. Move along.”

Okay, that’s not a direct quote from Chicago Bulls owner/chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, but it’s pretty close to what he said in a statement refuting a Chicago Sun-Times report that there is tension between Derrick Rose (and his inner circle) and the Bulls front office. In that story Rose pretty much confirmed there have been issues, particularly regarding how they felt he could have done more to recruit Carmelo Anthony (and that he did put an effort into recruiting Pau Gasol).

Here is Reinsdorf’s statement, via Aggrey Sam of the CSN Chicago.com.

“I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player. To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive,” Reinsdorf wrote. “I’ve got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction.”

Total fiction. Except for the part of that report where Rose said there has been tension.

So what is the story, is there tension between Rose’s camp and the Bulls? Most likely, that’s not some new rumor around the league. There’s tension between a number of star players and their teams. Has been for many years.

In this case it all stems more from Rose being sidelined with injuries for much of the last two seasons (he has played just 10 games total the past two seasons) and just the frustrations that grow out of that. Rose has long resisted recruiting, thinking he shouldn’t have to pull someone into the locker room, they should walk in willingly.

Then again, he clearly wanted to play with Gasol and made the effort there.

This is a situation where winning can cure all ills — Rose comes back, the Bulls got off to a hot start next season and all of this will be forgotten. At least until they lose a couple games in a row.