Tag: New York Knicks

Gordon Hayward

Jazz expected to match Hornets’ max contract offer to Gordon Hayward, which is absolutely the right decision


The Hornets gave Gordon Hayward an offer sheet of a four-year max contract, and while nothing can be signed until the NBA’s free agency moratorium period ends on July 10, he has reportedly agreed to sign it when the time comes.

The Jazz have said all along that the plan was to match any offer Hayward received, and multiple reports confirmed this again once the news of the agreement between Hayward and Charlotte became publicly official.

The money being thrown at Hayward may seem excessive at first glance — $63 million guaranteed over four years, although the last year is a player option that may see Hayward choose to leave in free agency before Utah is officially on the hook for that final $16.7 million.

But should the Jazz match as expected, it’s absolutely the right decision.

It’s worth noting that just because we call all four- or five-year contracts “maximum,” that doesn’t mean that they’re all worth the same. They’re the maximum length allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, but the amount depends on how long a player has been in the league, and whether they re-sign with their current team or leave to go somewhere else.

Carmelo Anthony’s four-year max, for example, should he leave the Knicks to sign with someone like the Lakers, is $97 million — far more than Hayward’s number of $63 million, which is necessary to point out to provide some perspective.

It’s still a lot for Hayward, but there’s a reason teams like the Hornets and the Jazz are willing to offer it — they simply don’t have a lot of other choices.

The next marquee free agent that voluntarily chooses to play for the Jazz will be the first. Star-level players never even consider Utah when free agency comes, so if the Jazz are fortunate enough to draft well, they need to overpay for that level of talent if they want to entice it to stay.

Restricted free agency is in place for precisely this reason, to give small market teams a chance to hang onto their rookies for up to seven seasons. That will be the case with Hayward, who has been in Utah for four years and can opt out after three more to pursue unrestricted free agency if that’s what he ultimately believes will be best.

Hayward isn’t quite an All-Star just yet, and didn’t improve as much as expected last season, despite getting a significant bump in minutes. Still, his averages of 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 36.4 minutes per contest show a more-than-solid overall game that’s worth waiting out.

As a comparison, those numbers (steals not included) were matched by only four other players in the league last season —  LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Michael Carter-Williams.

At his current level of production, and even with a small amount of projected improvement, Hayward might not be worth a max contract to teams more closely considered to be actual title contenders. But for markets like Charlotte and Utah, Hayward would be a fine signing at that amount — not only because of his acceptable relative level of talent, but also because of their somewhat limited options.

Report: If LeBron James chooses Miami, Cavaliers to target Chandler Parsons


Chandler Parsons is in the second tier of free agents, the ones waiting for the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony bottleneck to break free. He’s in the green room waiting to go on with Pau Gaol, Paul Pierce, Greg Monroe and a host of others.

The Rockets want to keep Parsons — a restricted free agent, meaning Houston can match any offer — but it could come down to money.

And if the Cavaliers strike out on LeBron and he stays with the Heat, the Cavs could throw a lot of it at Parsons, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Parsons is an incredibly athletic wing player who can hit the three or put the rock on the floor and finish strong at the rim. He understands offensive spacing and how to use it. His defense is a work in process but improving.

If the Cavaliers believe (as they do) that Andrew Wiggins is really a big two guard plugging Parsons at the three, with Kyrie Irving at the point, makes for a very good and interesting lineup. Plus a young one that is improving.

Of course, the Rockets might just match the offer. Remember they have James Harden and Dwight Howard, they won 54 games last year and see themselves as up-and-coming contender in the West. Parsons is part of that vision.

It could depend on what happens with the Rockets efforts to land Chris Bosh or another stretch four (if LeBron chooses Miami Bosh is expected to return with him, at a discount).

Report: Kevin Durant tried to sell Carmelo Anthony on coach Derek Fisher

NBA All-Star Game 2013

Carmelo Anthony is going to make his decision soon. We think. We hope. And it seems to be down to the Lakers and Knicks, with the Bulls holding out a slim hope.

Going back to New York means being the biggest star in the biggest market, playing for his favorite boyhood team and, of course, the most money ($129 million). But it also means putting your trust in Phil Jackson, a famed coach but first time executive, and first-time coach Derek Fisher. It means trusting they can build a triangle team (and playing in the triangle).

Kevin Durant told Anthony he can trust Fisher. That according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Kevin Durant loves him some Derek Fisher… tuck that away for 2016 if you want.

Fisher made his own pitch to Anthony already, one which was based around the fact the Knicks are not going through another season like the last one. That according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.

Fisher, speaking in Las Vegas at the team’s summer league practice on Tuesday, said he gathered during the meeting that one of Anthony’s top priorities is to put himself in a winning situation. And the first-year coach made it clear to Anthony that he felt the Knicks could turn things around in 2014-15.

“He wants to win, wants to be successful,” Fisher told reporters of Anthony. “The time I had the visit with him I just shared with him we’ll be a better basketball team because we’ll play the game a better way, play as a team, play with a system and format to allow the game to be easier for him for him and his teammates.

“I’m not sure if it hit home,” Fisher added. “I guess we’ll find out. Hopefully we’ll find out soon.”

Soon. Your lips to God’s ears, Fisher.

The Knicks should be better this season, they underachieved last season and while that is a flawed roster it is one with pieces that should help win more and at least make the playoffs in the East. Even without Tyson Chandler (whose presence in the paint will be missed).

That said, it’s about the longer-term plan in New York and if Anthony returns it’s about that. It’s about trusting Jackson and Fisher. KD at least tried to do his part.

Report: Bulls believe if they miss out on Carmelo Anthony, they’d be leaders to land Pau Gasol

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

The Bulls are still believed to be one of the finalists to land Carmelo Anthony in free agency, who is reportedly deciding between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles for where he’ll sign next.

Chicago is stuck waiting for Anthony’s decision, but they do have other players in mind should he end up deciding to go somewhere else.

And Pau Gasol may be at or near the top of that list.

From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

According to a source, the Bulls feel that if Anthony goes elsewhere, they are one of the leading candidates to land free-agent big man Pau Gasol — unless Anthony happens to choose the Los Angeles Lakers, which could start the dominos falling and convince Gasol to re-sign with the Lakers. …

Besides the Bulls, Gasol was being targeted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Miami Heat, the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks. The Thunder and the Bulls were the teams that impressed Gasol the most, at least until Tuesday, when reports from a Monday meeting between Gasol and Thunder coach Scott Brooks resulted in the Thunder believing the money wouldn’t work. …

In joining the Bulls, Gasol would be walking in as a starter on a playoff-caliber team that plays an unselfish style he likes. He has expressed his desire to start wherever he goes.

The Thunder are considered to be a long shot at this point, and not only due to the team having far less to offer financially than other teams in the race. Gasol reportedly was concerned about leaving Los Angeles for Oklahoma City, which is something that will plague the Thunder in attracting big name free agents no matter the team’s perennial status as a legitimate title contender.

L.A. would only make sense if the Lakers were among the high bidders for Gasol, which may only happen if in fact Anthony were to choose Los Angeles. The only other real option would seem to be the Knicks, where Gasol has firm relationships with both Phil Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher, which would no doubt ease any transition.

The Bulls remain intriguing, however, because of just how close they’re believed to be to championship-ready, especially in the Eastern Conference. It all hinges on Anthony’s decision, but once that happens, the dominoes will begin to fall — and one of the first could be Gasol.

Report: Carmelo Anthony wants LeBron to come to Knicks; Phil Jackson trying to clear cap space to get it done

lebron carmelo

Carmelo Anthony’s free agent decision was expected to have come already, after narrowing his choices down to the Lakers, Bulls, and of course, the Knicks.

But he’s waited longer than expected, perhaps due to holding out some measure of hope that he could end up teaming with LeBron James in Miami — or maybe even New York.

Yes, the latest report has Anthony dreaming of bringing LeBron to the Knicks — a scenario that is beyond unlikely, for a variety of very good reasons.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

According to a friend of Anthony’s, Melo has held out faint hope Knicks president Phil Jackson can pull a miracle and clear out the necessary salary-cap space to get it done, but he is running out of time. Anthony’s decision could come in the next couple of days. …

“He really wants LeBron to come to New York,’’ the source said. “That’s his dream right now. Phil is trying to get it done.’’ …

“He didn’t want no part of New York in 2010,’’ the source said. “But he loves Phil and the chance to play with Melo.’’

To be fair, this piece does lay out just how far-fetched that is, and states pretty clearly that it’s essentially not happening.

The Knicks would have to unload the horrendous contracts of Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire without taking back any salary in return for starters, and then Anthony and James would still need to both take less than the max to somehow make it all work.

Dreams are nice, but reality is what we’re forced to deal with, which is this: Anthony and James ending up as teammates when all of this is said and done isn’t at all likely, and barely even seems possible.