Not a lot of people have been in Carmelo Anthony’s shoes — a legitimate NBA superstar pushing his way to a new team at the peak of his career.
One guy who did — LeBron James. Anthony told the media Wednesday he and LeBron have spoken recently, but added the situations are very different (via the twitter of Chris Tomasson of FanHouse).
I wouldn’t compare my situation to (James’). It’s kind of different for me because I’m actually playing through it whereas for him he dealt with it in the offseason. (LeBron) just tells me to stay strong and keep doing what I’m doing and keep going out there and playing the way I’m playing.
Both players have been accused of having a massive ego driving their decisions. But I would argue that what Anthony has done with the Nuggets is infinitely fairer to the franchise — he has essentially given them notice he is gone. Like you would to your boss (if you liked your job). He is giving them a chance to get some value for him and jumpstart the rebuilding process. You may not like the process or how it’s been done, but in two years the Nuggets will be in a better place than the Cavaliers because Anthony essentially gave them notice.
Anthony and James can talk about it face-to-face Thursday, when the Heat take on the Nuggets in Denver.
The Miami Heat said no. The Milwaukee Bucks signed someone else. There has been no deal with the Houston Rockets.
Erick Dampier is a man without a team. Which is a little odd — as a minimum-salary backup center he should be a good fit, but teams are not jumping on board. For whatever reason.
Thursday Dampier stopped in on the Toronto Raptors and met with them during training camp, although no deal was reached, according to The Fan 590 Radio in Toronto.
It’s not an easy fit, the Raptors already have 15 guys under contract. They’d have to buy somebody out to get Dampier. That may or may not happen.
Dampier may have visits with another team. But right now he remains a man without a team.
It’s a testament to the desperate state of NBA centers that Kyrylo Fesenko is relevant news with training camp starting this weekend in some places, but them’s the breaks.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports via Twitter that Fesenko has decided to pass on an offer from the Houston Rockets and accept a one-year, $1 million offer from the Jazz to re-sign.
It brings to a close the kind of frustrating summer some promising free agents go through, where they’ve shown they can contribute, but not enough to get bidders lunging for their checkbooks. Fesenko received interest from several teams but if Stein’s report is on target, nothing materialized to match Utah’s offer. In Utah he’ll find himself in a similar situation as he would have in Houston, buried relatively deep in the depth chart, but not so far down he can’t see minutes.
Fesenko showed some life in the playoffs and gives every indication that he can contribute at this level. The big questions have been about his maturity, but they haven’t been the kind to stick with a player for years, just the little things he needs to grow out of. Now Jerry Sloan may have a chance to see if he can grow the kiddo up a bit more, while getting some frontcourt depth out of him.
The Rockets decision to not up the ante for Fesenko could be in part due to several factors, including their interest in Erick Dampier, or their rumored discussions in the Melo trade talks. Or, you know, they could just be insanely deep and not willing to go ga-ga over a kid that’s shown only potential when they’re trying to win now.
Erick Dampier will be a free agent, so he told the Miami Herald what he is required to say as a free agent — it’s about winning. Where the big, serviceable center and new best free agent on the market lands will be about chasing a ring.
So the Wolves are out — they admitted as much — but Chicago, Denver and Miami are in. Of course Miami is in the mix.
Dampier, 35, told The Miami Herald on Tuesday that he does not yet have a clear preference, but said he was impressed with the Heat’s off-season moves to re-sign Dwyane Wade and add LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
“They have some good, young talent down there and can do a lot of big things,” Dampier said. “Obviously, I want to be in a situation to compete for a championship. I haven’t talked to my agent yet, so we’ll go from there. But I’ve kept myself in good shape for 14 years, and still feel like I can play the game at a high level.”
Of course, there’s that money thing.
The Heat can only offer a veteran’s minimum deal of $1.4 million this season, which is a few bucks less than the $13 million deal he just got waived from by the Bobcats. So, you know, he may be looking for some dollars, too. And there are teams under the cap still that could offer more to Dampier.
But we’re sure it’s just about the ring, not the money. Because what free agent chooses money over winning? I mean, that would be unheard of.
The Bobcats have spent the last few days — the last couple months, really — looking for a trade to get some value out of the Erick Dampier contract.
The best value apparently was to get the Bobcats under the luxury tax.
The Bobcats have waived Dampier. That means his $13 million contract comes off the books. And Dampier is now a free agent.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said he was going to get the roster below the luxury tax threshold, and this move did that. The Bobcats are now about $5 million below that number, meaning they would get a payment not pay the tax this year.
As for Dampier, he is going to have a number of teams knocking on his door. An affordable and solid if not spectacular center is something a lot of teams could use. There has been speculation about the Miami Heat but look for a number of teams to step forward now.