Tag: Portland Trail Blazers

Steve Mills,Phil Jackson

Report: Steve Mills, not Phil Jackson, keeping Carmelo Anthony up to date on Knicks’ summer efforts


Carmelo Anthony agreed to the Knicks’ rebuilding efforts a year ago when he decided to take their massive checks for five years. He’s committed.

Phil Jackson has spent the summer drafting Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant, then signing Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, and Arron Afflalo. The Knicks will be better next season, maybe they can make the playoffs, and there is some hope building for the future.

But Jackson hasn’t been keeping Carmelo Anthony in the loop on any of that — Jackson said earlier in the week he hasn’t spoken to Anthony at all this summer. Rather GM Steve Mills has that duty, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

According to an NBA source, general manager Steve Mills has been in communication with Anthony across the free-agent process to explain the recent additions.

As president, Jackson delegates a lot, and Mills is in charge of directly speaking with agents and other teams regarding potential trades or free-agent acquisitions. According to the source, Mills also handles reaching out to players on matters such as recent transactions. In fact, Mills has said publicly Anthony spent a lot of time in his office going over “the boards’’ regarding potential free agents they were after.

This is the role Jackson wanted — he didn’t wish to handle the grinding details of dealing with agents phone calls or scouting some prospect in Europe. Jackson wanted to come in as the CEO — and he’s getting ridiculous CEO money — to set a direction and approve potential moves.

And stroking the ego of the team’s star player, that’s someone else’s job, too.

But if the Knicks struggle again this season, the blame for all of that is going straight to the CEO. His first season didn’t go smoothly but rebuilds rarely do. However, a second tough year and New Yorkers — including maybe James Dolan — will show a lot less patience.

Jerry West says Warriors front office “the most healthy environment I’ve been involved with”

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers

If you’re going to do a Mount Rushmore for the Lakers, Jerry West has to be on it. He’s a legendary player — he’s the Logo — who won a title in uniform then was the Lakers GM that built the Showtime Lakers with Magic and won some titles in that role. Nobody knows the game better; nobody is more competitive.

And he thinks he’s in a better spot now.

West is currently a board member and part of the brain trust with the Golden State Warriors, and things are different. In the Bay Area, it’s a collaborative process, but one that built a title contender in the modern NBA way — drafted well, finding versatile players who fit their system. They didn’t buy a roster, they built one and used free agency to tack on a couple needed players.

West toldRay Woodson Wednesday on SportsPhone 680 he enjoys the Warriors’ style of front office.

“People are allowed to express their own opinions. And at the end of the day, (Warriors GM) Bob Myers is going to make the decisions. I think (co-owner) Joe Lacob is kept aware and informed of everything going on, but everyone is allowed to express their opinions. Nobody takes themselves too seriously. Once you start doing that, that’s when dissenting voices become a problem.

“This is the most healthy environment I’ve been involved with since I’ve been in the NBA.”

That is the highest of praise — and a bit of a dig at the Lakers. West had a lot of success in the big chair for the Lakers, but it was a very different style, and right now the Lakers front office doesn’t seem healthy at all.

West is still ultra-competitive and opinionated — he threatened to quit if the Warriors had traded Klay Thompson for Kevin Love — but he seems to understand having more than one voice in the room, and a GM willing to listen to those voices, can work very well.

Here are some other highlights of West’s comments.

• He says the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Rockets are all threats to come out of the Western Conference. The Spurs are everybody’s hot pick after their summer landing LaMarcus Aldridge, but West noted, “We’re younger than they are, and our players can get better individually.”

• On small ball: “We have a lot of very talented players, we’re long and lanky. Size sometimes can be a detriment because a lot of people don’t want to run up and down the court. We were the best offensive team, the best defensive team, and we played our small ball a lot… We create a lot of our shots with the defense focused on Curry and Thompson, our other shooters get a little more time to shoot the ball.”

• He thinks Thompson can make the All-NBA teams if he improves his footwork and finishes better at the rim next season.

• As for just drafted Kevon Looney, West likes his instincts and hoops IQ a lot. He says Looney needs to get stronger, and he may need surgery on hip. But in a few years he could play a nice role on the Warriors.

• West recently shot his age on the golf course.

Charles Barkley on Kevin Durant: “I hope he stays in OKC”


The Washington Wizards are going all-in on trying to convince Kevin Durant to come home next summer. They can offer a max contract, the chance to play with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt, plus a solid array of role players. On top of all that, they are in the East — Cleveland will be a challenge, but the West remains a gauntlet of top teams.

It’s a good offer.

And the sense around the league is it likely is not enough. Nobody knows for sure what Durant is going to do next summer as a free agent, there are far too many variables from this coming season that will impact his decision to say with any certainty what will happen. But the Thunder are the frontrunners.

Charles Barkley hopes he stays put in Oklahoma City. Barkley joined CSN’s SportsTalk Live in Washington D.C. and told the city most hyped to land Durant he hopes their efforts fall short.

“I hope he stays in OKC,” Barkley said. “I would love because he’s a terrific player and a terrific kid, I would love to see him stay in OKC his entire career.

“But you know, man, these guys do what they want to do. I wish them all the best, but for some reason they all want to play in big cities like you’re going to be more famous winning in a certain city. If you win a championship in Cleveland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, you’re going to be just as big. So, I hope he stays in Oklahoma City. I wish him nothing but the best. I just hope he gets healthy.”

I’m not sure was paying full attention to the NBA this summer. The “they all want to play in big cities” theory suffered a pretty ugly beating — Greg Monroe chose Milwaukee over New York, LaMarcus Aldridge chose San Antonio over Los Angeles, Kevin Love chose Cleveland over Los Angeles or New York, and the list goes on. The world of social media has shrunk the marketing globe and shrunk the advantage big markets used to have in that regard.

That said, nobody knows if Barkley is going to get what he wants. Frankly, I doubt Kevin Durant himself knows what he will decide next summer. You can be sure he’s thought about it, but an NBA season is a lifetime for these kinds of decisions, and a lot of factors will come into play.

I believe we can all agree with Barkley on one thing: I just hope KD gets healthy and plays a full season again, too. The NBA is better with him on the court.

Report: Danny Green takes even bigger discount than initially reported to re-sign with Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Three

Danny Green reportedly agreed to a four-year, $45 million contract with the Spurs – a HUGE bargain for San Antonio.

Turns out, Green accepted even less.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili took less to save cap space for LaMarcus Aldridge. Because Green’s cap hold was lower than his starting salary, his bargain deal didn’t give the Spurs any extra cap space. They could have used his Bird Rights to give him a max contract and, as long they officially inked Green’s deal last, completed every other move they made this summer.

Green just saved San Antonio owner Peter Holt money – nothing more.

I’m sure Holt appreciates that, but I’m not sure why Green accepted this deal. Green is a light-out 3-point shooter and superb defender, and he’s just 28. Considering Wesley Mathew got $70 million with a torn Achilles, I think Green could have gotten a max contract. If not, he would have come close.

He’s obviously comfortable in San Antonio, and he’ll play for a heck of a team next season. That’s worth something – apparently about $30 million to Green.

Report: Lakers, Rockets, Pistons interested in trading for Ty Lawson

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

Ty Lawson’s trade value — already not very high, Denver has been trying to move him since the draft to no avail — plummeted this week when he was arrested for his second DUI this year.

But it is not dead.

At least three teams are still interested in potentially dealing for Lawson — the Lakers, Rockets, and Pistons, reports Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated.

While Lawson’s off-court problems have raised red flags, teams remain intrigued by his talent. Last season, Lawson averaged 15.2 points per game in 75 games with the Nuggets. His 9.6 assists per game was good for third in the NBA—the second straight season he finished in the top three in the category. And with this summer’s exploding salaries—five years, $80 million for Detroit’s Reggie Jackson; four-years, $70 million for Dallas’s Wesley Matthews—the two years, $25 million Lawson has left on his contract is a reasonable number.

As Mannix notes, do not leave Sacramento off the list of potential Lawson suitors. Kings coach Goerge Karl was a huge fan of Lawson and coached him in Denver, he might want him back (although with Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison why they would add Lawson is beyond me… or logic).

Any team that brings him in needs to be concerned about the potential locker room distraction, and what punishments he could face for the multiple DUIs. Maybe a fresh setting can change things for Lawson (especially if there is a potential playoff berth and something worth playing for on the line), but if he has an addiction issue a move alone will not be enough. There’s a lot for teams to assess.

There is not much interest in Lawson, but it is more than zero.