Tag: Carmelo Anthony

2015 BET Experience - Genius Talks Presented By AT&T

Report: Kobe Bryant was ‘very good’ in Lakers meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, which went ‘really well’


The Lakers have had prominent free agent meetings in each of the last two summers, only to come away empty-handed when all was said and done.

L.A. chased Carmelo Anthony last year, and reportedly got close. The year prior it was Dwight Howard, though the chances of him re-upping was always extremely slim, for a variety of reasons.

The Lakers were much more optimistic about their chances of landing one or more big names heading into this round of recruiting, and the first meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly went about as well as could be expected.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com:

The Lakers meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge went almost two hours. Source in the room said it went “really well”

From a person in the room for the Lakers pitch “LaMarcus seemed completely focused.”

Always hard to gauge how a meeting really went, but Lakers felt better about this mtg w/ Aldridge than they did w/ Dwight or Melo.

Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:

Been told Kobe Bryant was “very good” in Lakers meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge. Also that meeting went “well,” for what that’s worth.

This doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things; Aldridge knew what the Lakers had to offer before he stepped in the room, and things probably won’t be much different in San Antonio, the other city that has the strongest chance of signing him.

But after the way the last two summers ended in disappointment for the Lakers, they’ll take any encouraging signs they can at this stage of the process.

Kobe Bryant, Jeanie Buss will be in Lakers pitch meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

2015 BET Experience - Genius Talks Presented By AT&T

The Lakers are bringing out the big guns — and we don’t just mean the effort to clear out a cap space and go after a couple max contract stars.

The Lakers are bringing their biggest names into the room for their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge just after free agency starts — including Kobe Bryant. From Sam Amick of the USA Today.

According to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, Bryant is expected to be part of the meeting with Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The meeting with the big man who is widely expected not to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers is also expected to include Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, vice president of public relations John Black, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.

Lakers fans, before you celebrate this, remember Kobe was in the room before. His saying he was staying a few more years and his presence seemed to derail an already fragile meeting with Dwight Howard two years ago. Last year Kobe was not in the room, but then he and Carmelo Anthony spoke later and both questioned if their games would would really blend well. (They were right by the way, that would have been a ball-stopping mess.) His presence in the room is no guarantee — not everybody loves him.

But Kobe is being active in free agency this year, he has already called DeAndre Jordan to lobby him.

The Lakers are one of the front runners for Aldridge and could land other top free agents, and they have a reputation for making good pitches. But there is nothing quite as random and unpredictable as NBA free agency.

League execs say ‘there is not a robust market’ for Dwyane Wade in free agency


Dwyane Wade is viewed by many as having declined in recent seasons, primarily due to a combination of age and injury.

But he’s still capable of performing at a very high level, if not necessarily for an entire 82-game season.

Wade was the Eastern Conference’s third leading scorer last year, behind only Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. If the Heat don’t meet his contract demands, he could become a key contributor on a contending team if he chooses to leave in free agency. But there may not be many clubs that would be willing to take that risk at the price he would command.

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

League execs telling me there is not a robust market for DWade because of his age (33) and injury problems.

This may be true, but it only takes one team to step up with a contract offer that would make Miami nervous.

Teams like the Knicks and the Lakers immediately come to mind, because their large markets demand star power to sell those high-priced seats. It’s the reason New York gave Carmelo Anthony a max contract, and it’s the reason L.A. overpaid Kobe Bryant on the final two years of his deal.

Wade returning to the Heat remains the likeliest outcome of his journey into free agency. And even if there aren’t many teams that come calling, there will almost certainly be one or two that are willing to have that conversation.

Report: Knicks front runner to land Arron Afflalo (and Greg Monroe, too)

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers

The Knicks made a respectable call picking Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 in the NBA Draft — if they can be patient and develop him this is a reasonable gamble. But patience will be key as he is three years away from really contributing to the Knick at anywhere near the level they hope.

Patience is not exactly the strong suit of New Yorkers. So what are the Knicks going to do to get better short-term?

How about landing Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo? The Knicks are the front-runners to get both, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports — but it’s not cheap.

For months, the Knicks and rival executives have believed that New York is the likely destination for Detroit free agent forward Greg Monroe, and now it appears that Afflalo is the most likely target to potentially join him with Carmelo Anthony in New York, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

With Monroe expecting to command a maximum contract on the market, Afflalo could earn a deal in the neighborhood of three years, $36 million-$38 million, league sources said.

Afflalo started last season in Denver then was traded to Portland to back up Wesley Matthews, which was a fantastic plan to add depth to a dangerous team. Well, it was a fantastic plan until Matthews suffered an Achilles injury and was out for the season, forcing Afflalo to start. The Blazers were not the same after that

That price for Monroe is the going rate for a quality big man in the NBA, if the Knicks don’t offer it the Lakers and a host of other teams will.

But $12 million a year for Afflalo? The most he has ever made in a season is $7.75 million. Last season he averaged 13.3 points a game but his efficiency took a hit (his 53.3 true shooting percentage was right at the league average). He’s solid defensively, but not as good as his reputation. Bottom line is he is a solid pro, a quality rotation player and a guy worth having on your team, but $12 million per may be a little steep for the guy.

Still, the Knicks have money to burn and they do need to get a little better now. Monroe, Afflalo and a healthy for the season Carmelo Anthony might be able to make the playoffs in the East.


Daryl Morey says Rockets more likely to re-sign their own free agents than land a big name

D.J. Augustin, Patrick Beverley

In the last two offseasons, the Rockets have been major players in free agency. All indications from Daryl Morey are that that’s not going to be the case this year. In 2013, Houston landed the biggest free agent of the summer in Dwight Howard. Last year, they made a pitch to Carmelo Anthony and came close to luring Chris Bosh away from Miami, before the Heat came through with a max contract offer. Now, even with such names as Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge on the market, Morey seems more focused on re-signing the Rockets’ own players who are due for new deals than adding another star.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets are “probably likely” to stick with their plan to remain above the salary cap and spend the free-agency period putting the band back together by signing many, if not all, of their five free agents.

Morey did say there are “possible opportunities we have to explore that are bigger. But I think they’re unlikely.”

Those unlikely “possible opportunities” are enough for the Rockets to do some big-game hunting when free-agent season opens Wednesday, but without the confidence of the past two summers.

This summer’s top free-agent targets – big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love – are considered much greater long shots than the top players of the past two offseasons that had the Rockets in the middle of the annual free-agent frenzy.

The Rockets will have five players to make decisions on this summer: restricted free agents Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels, and unrestricted free agents Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Jason Terry. Beverley and Smith are the two most likely players to be priorities. Beverley missed the last two weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason with torn ligaments in his left wrist, but he should be healthy by training camp and he’s been a defensive pest for Houston the last three years. He should be due for a significant raise over the $915,000 he made this season — probably something north of $10 million annually.

Smith resurrected his career in Houston after a catastrophic year-plus in Detroit, learning to play to his strengths as a solid defender and around-the-basket finisher and complimenting Howard well in the frontcourt. Brewer found a perfect role as an energy guy off the bench in Houston after being traded from Minnesota in December. Terry was surprisingly solid in the backup point guard role, stepping in as a starter after Beverley went down. McDaniels didn’t play much after being traded to Houston from Philadelphia at the deadline, but he’s still a promising young talent.

Unless something unforeseen happens, Morey’s plan seems to be to keep this group together and add new draftees Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. And why not? The Rockets made the Western Conference Finals despite injuries to Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas. If the opportunity is there to get a star like Love or Aldridge, Morey will obviously go for it, but it’s understandable that he sees potential for this core to make yet another leap after a successful season and playoff run.