Carmelo Anthony hints the Knicks may not want him, trade may take time

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Carmelo Anthony practiced with the Denver Nuggets Monday — a sign that nothing is imminent on the trade front — as did everyone else whose name has come up in recent trade talks. The exception was Chauncey Billups (officially out due to a headache, which I bet all the trade rumors have become for him).

Anthony spoke to the media Monday but sounded more out of the loop on what is going down than you imagine he actually is. There was this one interesting quote, via the twitter of Chris Tomasson of FanHouse, regarding the New York Knicks:

“New York is playing well right now. I don’t think they’re looking at me. They wouldn’t want me to come in there and mess what they have up. That’s what I’ve read so.”

The entire island of Manhattan just yelled “WHAT!?!”

You can be sure the Knicks and their fans still want Anthony. Badly (although maybe not Amar’e Stoudemire). But aside that quote you got no real sense of what Anthony is planning other than to suit up for the Nuggets Tuesday (again quotes are via Tomasson). For example, would he sign an extension with the Nets?

“I really don’t know. I’m waiting to see Masai (Ujiri, Denver’s executive vice president of basketball operations) and Josh (Kroenke, the Nuggets president)… They haven’t been here. So I’m just patiently waiting until they get back so I have a sitdown with them.”

“I’m here… Until something happens, I’m a Denver Nugget.”

“I got a game tomorrow against Phoenix. So if I go out there tomorrow thinking about the New Jersey Nets that will disrespectful to myself. That would be disrespectful to this organization and to the fans out there.”

He could be a Nugget for a while longer.

This is a complex, 15-player, three-team trade that keeps evolving. The core of it would send Anthony, Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, some other players and a couple first round picks to the Nuggets; and Troy Murphy and Johan Petro to the Pistons along with picks. But questions about whether Al Harrington is part, what picks and more continue to be negotiated.

Anthony reiterated again that he didn’t think anything was going to happen this week, saying there was no pressure that makes this have to happen in the next 48 hours. Also, there is no real pressure on the Nuggets to make a move so long as New Jersey’s core deal is still on the table — and the Nets are not likely to pull it off because they want Anthony. They want the Brooklyn native to open the new arena in Brooklyn in two years.

So while there is a lot of heat right now, we could be in this fire for a while. The trading deadline is Feb. 24.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

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People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.

Watch Raptors fans celebrate Finals berth in streets of Toronto (VIDEO)

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in Game 6 to send them home and push Toronto into the final series of the year against the Golden State Warriors.

Raptors fans, who have been perennially disappointed by teams who were just good enough, naturally found themselves celebrating in the streets of Ontario. Videos of cars honking and people walking through the avenues surfaced on social media, with the whole thing looking like a big party.

Via Twitter:

The Raptors aren’t the most talented team in the Eastern Conference, but they did have the best player in the entire playoffs this season in Leonard. Coach Nick Nurse figured out a way to stop the Bucks by collapsing on Antetokounmpo, and Milwaukee’s shooters went cold at just the wrong time. The rest of the Raptors bench finally gave Leonard some support, and Toronto was able to mount a comeback in the series to push themselves into the NBA finals.

For that, both Toronto and the Raptors fans deserve to be overjoyed with what’s happening right now.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Toronto.

Bucks fans greet team, Giannis Antetokounmpo at Milwaukee airport (VIDEO)

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The Milwaukee Bucks season is over. Giannis Antetokounmpo and his supporting cast couldn’t get things done in Game 6 on Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors in Canada. Now it’s Kawhi Leonard who is heading to the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

This season was a magical one for Milwaukee, one in which they took the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and likely have the league’s MVP in Antetokounmpo.

As you might expect, Bucks fans are happy about that fact, and showed up to the Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport to greet their returning team.

Via Twitter:

It has to be nice for athletes to get this kind of treatment. Although some may want to just go home and languish in their defeat, the unwavering support of fanatics has to take the bite out of the sting, even if just a little bit.