Tag: New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks

While waiting on Plan A to make up his mind, Lakers mulling Plan B options


Carmelo Anthony is Plan A for the Lakers. They like to mention LeBron James but they were never in that chase. With Anthony, the Lakers are in the final three that he is torn between, along with New York and Chicago.

But if the Lakers strike out, what is Plan B?

Try to get a little better next year, but don’t take on any long term deals so you can still go big game hunting in the coming years. Dave McMenamin lays it out at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

The philosophy behind the Lakers’ Plan B is twofold: find a way to be competitive next season to get back on track after a disastrous 27-55 campaign in 2013-14 yet at the same time, protect their cap space flexibility to be able to pursue the biggest names in the summers of 2015 (Kevin Love), 2016 (Kevin Durant) and 2017 (Russell Westbrook).

“It’s a good class, but in terms of today who might be at the very top, maybe it’s not as large as it might be next year or the year after,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on draft night when asked about the free-agency market this summer. “And keeping that in mind, we structured our salary knowing that, hey, you might not get two or three guys, but we have enough room to get at least one. And if we don’t have one and we choose to, we can go down the road and have flexibility next year and the year after that.”

For my money, the Lakers Plan B should be patience — do not make a max offer for someone like Chris Bosh or an oversized offer for Luol Deng. See if you can sign-and-trade Pau Gasol wherever he wants to go, do it. If you want to see if you can overpay a star for on a two-year deal go ahead (Lance Stephenson, Deng, give them more per year but a really short deal so you have cap space in 2016.

Sell Kobe Bryant to the fans and sponsors, he is the legendary player they want to see anyway, he can the distraction while you rebuild (and struggle a little). The Lakers should improve this season with a healthy Kobe and Julius Randle, but don’t make moves for this season that hurt the bigger long term goals.

Reports: Carmelo Anthony unsure on Knicks, can’t get the Bulls out of his head

Taj Gibson, Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony reportedly decided to re-sign with the Knicks.

Maybe Melo actually believed he’d stay in New York, and maybe he still will.

But not even Phil Jackson has heard from Melo, and this silence is strange.

What’s going on with the second-most-sought-after free agent on the market?

Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Chicago:

I got a call. ‘Look, something has come up. Something is in the mix. Melo is having second thoughts. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is what it is.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ They said, ‘Chicago.’ Suddenly, Chicago is on the mind. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. You’ve got to be kidding me.’ And this is somebody that is incredibly close to Carmelo Anthony who I completely trust as a source. This is what he was telling me. Couldn’t explain why, but just said, ‘Chicago is not out of the mix.’

‘Melo is sitting at home with his wife and family and talking about the Chicago Bulls.’ This is what they told me.

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Not much has changed since Melo visited teams. If he wants to make the most money, he’ll choose New York. If he wants the best team, he’ll choose Chicago or Houston. I wouldn’t blame him for prioritizing either factor.

The offensively deficient Bulls also represent the best fit for Melo, whose singular scoring talent would be well-complemented by Chicago’s defense-first, hustling role players. The Bulls were my early favorite to nab Melo for a reason.

But the Knicks also overtook them in the chase for a reason.

Melo is deliberating on where to spend the next three to five years of his life. I don’t blame him for having second thoughts and taking his time to consider all his options.

I also wouldn’t completely dismiss the idea that Melo’s advisors, unhappy his intention to sign with the Knicks leaked before they were ready to announce it, are spreading false information in order to justifying delaying an announcement. Now, if Melo declares an intention to sign with New York, he’d be controlling the message.

But if Melo is choosing between the Knicks and Bulls and doesn’t know which way to turn, that would make a lot of sense, too. It’s a tough decision.

Report: Isaiah Thomas meets with Suns on Thursday

Cleveland Cavaliers  v Sacramento Kings

The Phoenix Suns have Goran Dragic under contract and have promised to match any offer for Eric Bledsoe (which has yet to come, but one way or another the man will get paid). Behind them they have breakout star Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin and rookie Tyler Ennis. That’s already a deep backcourt.

Yet the Suns are having conversations that could make it even deeper.

They are meeting Thursday with Kings free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Those talks will continue on Friday.

Thomas is a restricted free agent and the Kings can match any offer.

Thomas, like so many others (Pau Gasol, Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce, Luol Deng and on and on) are waiting for the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony free agency bottleneck to break and for teams to start making offers.

The Suns have the cap space (enough for a couple max deals really) so they can easily afford Thomas, although with the departure of Channing Frye a shooting forward would seem a higher priority. That backcourt in Phoenix is already pretty crowded.

That said, Thomas is a good get. A fan favorite in Sacramento he is small and lightning quick, he averaged 20 points a game with a very efficient .574 true shooting percentage because he can get to the rim and he knocks down shots. He’s a score first point guard, but that can fit in Phoenix. His big issue is defense, but he brings a real energy to the game.

The Kings front office is divided on him, but apparently the guys with the power are not that into him, went out and got a lesser guard (Darren Collison) and appear willing to let Thomas walk, unless the offer for him is so ridiculously low it would be stupid not to match.

Thomas will likely get a nice offer. The question is when and from whom, but the Suns seem an unlikely albeit interesting landing spot.

Phil Jackson says he has not heard from Carmelo, has tried to recruit Gasol

Phil Jackson

It’s not just you, Phil Jackson is waiting, too.

Carmelo Anthony met with five teams last week and took the long holiday weekend to mull over his free agency decision, with announcement expected Monday… but nothing. It’s now heading into Thursday night and still nothing, outside a reports it’s down to the Knicks and Lakers.

There are reports Anthony will stay in New York and Jackson said he is optimistic, but if you want something official, sorry.

Jackson spoke to the New York media Thursday and had a “no update” update on free agency, as tweeted by Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal.

Jackson has made moves, trading Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to both save money and get triangle-friendly Jose Calderon at the point. He also has reached out to Pau Gasol.

Gasol has options, too — the Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Thunder and even Heat have reached out to him.

But Gasol is waiting to see what LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will do before making his decision.

Like the rest of us. Including Phil Jackson.

Mavericks give Rockets Chandler Parsons offer sheet

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets

Update: I guess the Mavericks didn’t need until midnight.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

If Parsons’ contract is accurately reported and my math is correct, this means the Dirk Nowitzki signing is official.


Chandler Parsons and Mark Cuban might have celebrated prematurely last night.

Though Parsons and the Mavericks have reportedly agreed on terms to an offer sheet, they haven’t yet officially submitted it.

Parsons has probably signed it. There’s even video of him doing so in the club:

But Dallas hasn’t yet submitted it and started the Rockets’ 72-hour clock.

Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Why the delay?

Daryl Morey is already pressed for time. He must salvage the Omer Asik trade, finalize the Jeremy Lin trade – all to convince Chris Bosh to accept less than a max offer.

By holding off, the Mavericks are essentially doing Houston a favor. Why would they do that?

I see two non-mutually exclusive possibilities.

1. A sign-and-trade is on the table.

Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson acknowledges that’s a possibility:

The Mavericks obviously value Parsons a lot. They’re willing to pay him all that money. But do they value him enough to also relinquish an asset to ensure they get him? At some point, Parsons’ production doesn’t warrant the cost.

From the Rockets’ perspective, taking back anything more than small contracts could interfere with their pursuit of Bosh. Maybe they can snag draft picks from Dallas, but see the previous paragraph.

I can’t rule out a sign-and-trade, but there are major roadblocks.

Once Parsons signs an offer sheet, a sign-and-trade is no longer possible. It behooves Morey to prolong sign-and-trades negotiations, giving himself more time to handle everything else on his plate.

2. The Mavericks can’t yet offer Parsons his promised money.

How much is Parsons guaranteed over his three-year contract? I’ve seen slightly different numbers.

Marc Stein of ESPN called it “in excess of $45 million.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports said “$46 million.”

We’re in the range of Parsons’ max contract, which would be $46,228,710. I’m sure rounding factors in these reports, but I have yet to see someone credibly call Parsons’ offer a “max offer.”

Anyway, prior to agreeing to terms with Parsons, Dallas reached a three-year, $30 million deal with Dirk Nowitzki and agreed to re-sign Devin Harris. Most reports list Harris’ contract as worth $9 million over three years. Price has it $12 million over three years. For now, I’ll go with $9 million.

If Nowitzki’s and Harris’ contracts are fully back-loaded, the Mavericks could offer Parsons $44,413,545. If they take the relatively painless step of renouncing Petteri Koponen – the No. 30 pick in the 2007 draft who has yet to play in the NBA – they could increase their Parsons offer to $45,680,286.

That’s right in the range of what has been reported.

However, that requires Nowitzki to sign his contract first. Signing him with bird rights is the only way he can get 7.5 percent, rather than 4.5, raises. If the Mavericks renounce Nowitzki to sign Parsons first, even with renouncing Koponen, they could offer Parsons only $44,805,401 while preserving enough room to give Nowitzki his promised $30 million.

In other words, the Mavericks must wait to finalize Nowitzki’s contract before submitting Parsons’ offer sheet. In the real world, that could take time. Nelson confirms Nowitzki has yet to sign:

And if Harris’ promised contract is actually $12 million, forget about it. Drop Parsons’ three-year salary to $42,545,286. That would mean either the reports on Parsons’ salary are really off, or the Mavericks must make other moves. I figure they’d have those contingencies arranged before offering Parsons, but they also might be giving themselves an extra day to seek better trades for their expendable players (Raymond Felton, Brandan Wright,Jae Crowder,Ricky Ledo

and Gal Mekel) than would already be in place.

If Harris is getting only $9 million, though, that aspect isn’t a worry. Officially signing Nowitzki first matters, though.

So, once the Mavericks get all their ducks in a row, then what?

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:


The Rockets must figure out how everything comes together. Tonight, Dallas will likely put them on the clock to do so.