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Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp ‘cautiously optimistic’ Knicks will trade him by Monday

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In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.

That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.

Yet…

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.

It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.

If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.

Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.

Michael Beasley: “I’m literally just Carmelo on the left side of the floor”

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Michael Beasley recently signed a one-year contract with the New York Knicks for the veteran minimum. Hopefully, this is just the start of an interesting year with the Knicks. I think you know what I mean.

Speaking to reporters this week, Beasley had lots to say about his potential new role with New York, his interplay with Carmelo Anthony, and his new weight loss.

Specifically, Beasley spoke of how long he had known Anthony and how much he had mimicked his game off of the star on the left side of the floor, saying, “If you watch my game, really watch my game, my jab series, all that, I’m literally just Carmelo on the left side of the floor.”

Since Kevin Durant has apparently set the offseason tone for athletes being frank with reporters, Beasley did say that he was not as great on help side defense as he could’ve been in recent years. However, he said that he wasn’t as bad as people made about to be, and it appears he is going to try to make that something to focus on this season.

Beasley has also lost about 20 pounds — it appears he has cut out sugar and red meats — but the most interesting thing he said to ESPN’s Ian Begley was about his offensive production.

Via ESPN:

“I’ve came in and out of this league. Every year my per-36 [minute average] has been top of the league. And still everybody looks at me as a bust. I just want an opportunity to play more than 15 minutes. And you know if I play more than 15 minutes I’m going to score more than 15 points. And if I can do that for 82 games, that’s an All-Star level. I don’t know. I’m just talking. I just want an opportunity to play basketball. I just want the respect I deserve. Not for what I can do in the future but what I’ve done in the past. And I just want a fair opportunity, a fair chance, a fair shot to play basketball.”

It’s not immediately clear what kind of fair shake Beasley wants here. True, he played less than 30 games in two of his last three seasons in the NBA. However, that was preceded by six seasons of at least 47 games a year. We do know who he is at this point in time, and there is a large swath of game tape and statistics that can be analyzed to prove it.

It is also interesting that Beasley brought up his per-36 numbers. It’s true that Beasley has been an okay scorer when looking at those numbers out of context. But per-36 numbers are not a direct correlary to how effective a player is on the floor. Indeed, even when he was playing starter-level minutes, Beasley’s best numerical seasons are spread all over the place when you take a look at his per-36 production.

Meanwhile, Beasley has had only one season out of nine where he had a positive value over a replacement player. That was his sophmore season with the Miami Heat at 0.2. Five of those seasons he’s taken a larger percentage of his shots from 16 feet to just inside the 3-point line than he has from 0-3 feet. He’s a career 39% shooter on those long jumpers, and 63.5% from that close-in range.

Would it be great if Michael Beasley somehow turned into a strong driving, hard rebounding, diving and passing pick and roll man? Yes. That is exactly what this Knicks team — and any team, frankly — could use.

For now, it appears it’s more likely we end up with the Beasley who says he is a carbon copy of Carmelo — long 2s and all.

Report: Magic promised to draft Kristaps Porzingis in 2014

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Kristaps Porzingis initially entered the 2014 NBA draft, and the Magic – who held the No. 12 pick (which they ultimately used to trade up for No. 10 pick Elfrid Payton) – tried to entice him to remain in the draft.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

They tried to get Porzingis to stay in the draft that year. He was guaranteed at the pick they used Elfrid Payton.

Porzingis knew he could have been picked. He didn’t feel he was ready. He wanted to come over ready.

Of course, Porzingis withdrew from the draft and then declared again in 2015. Orlando, which held the No. 5 pick, was the highest-picking team known to show early interest in Porzingis. But that obviously wasn’t enough, as the Knicks grabbed him at No. 4. The Magic settled for Mario Hezonja at No. 5.

This exposes a limitation of the NBA’s lottery-reform proposal. There’d still be value in tanking down in the standings, even if the difference in lottery odds is minimal. Teams whose number combinations are not selected are still slotted in reverse order of record. That’s why New York picked ahead of Orlando, and the difference was obviously immense.

By the way, we always hear about how close teams were to drafting a future star. We never hear about the times the Magic coveted a bust but were saved when another team drafted him ahead of them.

Watch Kristaps Porzingis’ 34-point night in elimination game in EuroBasket

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The MVP of EuroBasket is probably Goran Dragic, who has been nothing short of amazing averaging 21 points and 5.4 assists per game, and hitting 37.5 percent from three in leading Slovenia to the title game.

After him, it might be Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks big man averaged 27.2 points a game, shooting 37.5 percent from three, and getting to the line almost seven times a game.

Porzingis dropped 34 points and pulled down six boards in Latvia’s quarterfinal game against Dragic’s Slovenia, but it wasn’t enough (that was the same game where KP got into it with Anthony Randolph). Still, his highlights from that game are worth watching — and are a reminder the Knicks need to get him the ball more this season and run the offense through him.

Report: Jarrett Jack coming to Knicks camp on one-year, non-guaranteed deal

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The Knicks are bringing in another veteran point guard to camp, just to have a look.

There had been reports before they had interest in veteran Jarrett Jack, and he has convinced them his knees are healthy enough to deserve a shot. Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders was first with the story.

Ian Begley of ESPN added:

The New York Knicks and Jarrett Jack are expected to finalize their agreement on Friday or early next week, sources told ESPN. Jack is the second veteran point guard to join New York, which also inked Ramon Sessions earlier this summer. GM Scott Perry had said that he’d like to have veterans to help Rookie Frank Ntilikina.

Jack was a respectable point guard off the bench a couple of seasons ago, but has played just 40 games over the past two seasons due to knee injuries. He’s had multiple surgeries, the latest of which was last March after he had gotten a 10-day contract with the Pelicans. He’s going to have to prove he is healthy, first.

On paper heading into the season, the Knicks have one of the worst backcourts in the NBA. There is the veteran Ramon Sessions, rookie Frank Ntilikina, and the man they dramatically overpaid Ron Baker, and in a pinch Chasson Randle (his salary is not guaranteed until the first day of training camp, Sept. 26). A healthy Jack could get minutes in that group, but they have him on a non-guaranteed deal for a reason.