Report: Carmelo Anthony still expects Knicks to trade him to Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony sees a potential super team forming in Houston, one that would have the best shot to knock off the Warriors next season, and he wants to be part of it. He’s willing to waive his no trade clause to go there.

That problem is he has a massive contract paying him $55 million over the next two years, and his trade value is at an all-time low. The Knicks have no motivation to take a crappy deal — Phil Jackson may have been willing to do that just to get ‘Melo out of town, the new Steve Mills/Scott Perry regime is not.

Still, Anthony still expects the trade with the Rockets to go down, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry pursue a meeting with Carmelo Anthony in the coming days, league sources told ESPN that the 10-time All-Star is counting on the franchise to carry out its previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets…

Anthony, 33, has been willing to waive his no-trade clause for Houston and Cleveland, but in recent weeks, he has begun to prioritize a trade to the Rockets to join Chris Paul and James Harden over the Cavaliers and LeBron James, league sources said.

With Perry’s hiring from Sacramento and the promotion of Steve Mills to president, the Knicks have paused those trade discussions, in part because New York has been unhappy with the recent proposed returns on an Anthony deal, league sources said.

Anthony wants to be traded to the Rockets. That’s nice, I want to walk out the door of my house and hop in my Maserati Gran Turismo convertible and drive around town. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

The Rockets may be motivated to bring in Anthony, but they are not loaded with young players that could fit with Kristaps Porzingis, nor do they have a lot of high draft picks to move, so what can they really offer? Plus, to make this work financially, the Rockets need to move Ryan Anderson and his three-year, $60 million contract. The Knicks don’t want that back, so the two sides tried to find a third and fourth team to come into the trade to take on that deal, but there were no takers (because any team willing to take on Anderson’s contract is going to want a lot of sweetners such as young players and picks to do it).

A number of teams have been rumored to be part of the deal, including New Orleans and Portland, but they are not going to make a Western Conference foe in Houston better out of the goodness of their hearts, and no deal has been found. Wojnarowski reports that the Trail Blazers will only be part of the deal if ‘Melo expands the number of places he’s willing to be traded to and comes to them. The Knicks would like to see that list of potential landing spots where Anthony would waive his no trade clause expand and give them options, but that doesn’t seem likely right now.

My sense: Anthony will start the season a Knick. Which may be a media circus, but if he is demanding to go to only one of a couple of teams, and there is no good deal to be had because ‘Melo’s trade value is so low, the new Knicks management will wait out the market.

Report: Nuggets lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. undergoes another back surgery

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Michael Porter Jr. underwent back surgery in November, missed nearly his entire freshman season at Missouri then slipped to No. 14 in the draft amid injury concerns.

The Nuggets have been noncommittal about their plans for Porter, but they’ve given an eyebrow-raising update.

Nuggets release:

Michael Porter Jr. has undergone surgery of the lumbar spine at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, Tex. The Procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett. There is no timetable for his return to basketball participation.

Porter is a talented forward with the length and skill to make a major impact as a scorer.

But, as this latest surgery underscores, drafting him carried terrifying risk. Denver will have to bear that for a while.

Report: Dirk Nowitzki to re-sign with Mavericks for $5 million

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Dirk Nowitzki is set to play his 20th season – breaking Kobe Bryant’s record for most seasons with a single franchise and tying Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis for most seasons in the NBA.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks declined Nowitzki’s $5 million team option, but he was never signing elsewhere. He was either going to retire or play for Dallas.

Once he decided to return, the only question was money.

The Mavericks declined Nowitzki’s option to maximize their flexibility for upgrades, namely signing DeAndre Jordan. Once Yogi Ferrell agreed to an absurdly team-friendly contract, Dallas had enough cap space left to give Nowitzki his team-option amount. If necessary, he would have taken the $4,449,000 room exception.

Nowitzki has had a great career, and this could be his farewell tour. But he also remains a helpful rotation-level player. Though he’s a defensive liability, his outside shooting as a big goes a long way toward floor spacing.

Report: Mavericks re-signing Yogi Ferrell for less than qualifying-offer salary with second year unguaranteed

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The Mavericks expected Yogi Ferrell to accept his qualifying offer.

Turns out, they’ll keep him on an even more team-friendly deal than the one he could have unilaterally signed.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

This is an awful deal for Ferrell.

As reported, he’ll earn between $2,548,077 and $2,760,417 next season. That range is less than his qualifying offer – which would have paid him a fully guaranteed $2,919,204 next season.

That reduction is acceptable if Ferrell got something in exchange – but he gave Dallas the concession by adding an unguaranteed second year. If he plays well, the Mavericks will keep him at a cheap salary. If he doesn’t, they’ll waive him for no cost. They have all the control.

The promise of the backup shooting guard job is probably just lip service. Teams don’t stick by that if the player struggles. If he produces, he would have gotten the job anyway.

Dallas has plenty of point guard types – Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, J.J Barea, Jalen Brunson and Ferrell. Rick Carlisle uses two of them simultaneously often enough that Ferrell should land in the rotation. But it’s far from a lock.

With this deal, Ferrell is taking all the risk and the Mavericks are getting all the upside.

Thon Maker and Andray Blatche among 18 (!) disciplined for Philippines-Australia brawl

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Thon Maker and Andray Blatche were the biggest names in the Philippines-Australia brawl, but they sure weren’t the only ones involved in the massive fight. The fallout included the Bucks center and former Wizards forward, but it also reaches much further.

FIBA release:

Philippines
The following 10 players are suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior and, in the case of Roger Pogoy, also for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior (in brackets the number of games of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers): Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (1 game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (3 games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (5 games each); Calvin Abueva (6 games, due also to prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition). No sanction is imposed on Gabe Norwood.
Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico is suspended for 3 games for unsportsmanlike behavior. Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes is suspended for 1 game and shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 10,000 for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.
Philippines’ national federation, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game. Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years. SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 250,000.
Australia
The following 3 players are suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior and, in the case of Chris Goulding and Daniel Kickert, also for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior: Chris Goulding (1 game), Thon Maker (3 games) and Daniel Kickert (5 games). No sanction is imposed on Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee.
Basketball Australia shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 100,000 for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players and for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game.

Furthermore, following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA (including at Zone and Sub-zone level) for a period of one year.