NBA Odds And Ends
With NBA training camps firming in sight, NBA teams are starting to lock up their training camp deals and lock in those final roster moves, which puts a number of situations on the radar as needing answers. Here are a few:
Nothing New On Carmelo Anthony
With NBA Training camps set to start up around the NBA in less than 18 days, the moment of truth awaits the New York Knicks and forward Carmelo Anthony.
While Anthony’s future continues to be speculated about, sources near the situation said recently that there has been no movement on the situation and that the Knicks remain firmly committed to their stance that an Anthony trade has to make sense for them, and nothing they have been offered at this point meets that standard.
The problems in the situation are not easy to overcome. Anthony remains steadfast that the only team he’d agree to a trade with is the Houston Rockets. The problem for the Knicks is the Rockets are not offering much more than roster parts and the contract of Ryan Anderson as the core of an offer.
The Rockets have tried to get third and fourth teams involved to change Anderson into something more agreeable to the Knicks, but there remains no movement on the Knicks’ side.
For Anthony’s part, as much as people speculate about him expanding his teams to include say the Cleveland Cavaliers, his side of the equation does not seem interested in that at all. The prevailing belief is that Anthony knows he has the power in his current situation to force his way to Houston or eventually force the Knicks into cutting him and paying off his current salary.
Sources near the situation continue to say bringing Anthony to training camp is a real possibility, but given how much of a media circus that will ultimately be, you have to wonder if the Knicks will ultimately blink and pull the trigger on a deal with Houston they currently do not want to do if only to close this chapter and move on.
Knicks players repeatedly said this summer that even as bad as it got last season, Anthony was never a problem with the coaches or the staff and that he was liked by his teammates. Assuming none of that has changed, it’s not like the Knicks would be bringing a toxic element into their locker room with Anthony, but it would create an external circus the entire team would have to manage, at least initially.
Given how under siege the Knicks organization is in New York, a media frenzy around Carmelo wouldn’t be a new thing; the question becomes is it the right thing for a new front office pledging a culture change?
JaMychal Green And Memphis?
It seems the stalemate between the Grizzlies and restricted free agent JaMychal Green may be coming to an end. While appearing on Memphis’ AM 560’s Wolo & Peter In The Morning show, long time Commercial Appeal beat writer Ron Tillery revealed that Green and the Grizzlies seem to be nearing a shorter term contract.
The talk in NBA circles was that the Grizzlies made an initial offer that was far less than what Green and his camp were seeking. After failing to solicit a deal they felt the Grizzlies wouldn’t match, both sides seem to be drilling in on a two-year deal to get Green signed and into camp.
The problem for Green is that his $2.82 million Qualifying Offer was just too low to make sense as a threat, especially when the Grizzlies were rumored to be talking about a deal in the $8-9 million range.
The Grizzlies never wavered in their desire to bring Green back and made it clear to his camp they would match offers, which made it tough to solicit anything serious from competing teams.
Green averaged 8.9 points and 7.1 rebounds last season in 77 games — his best season as a professional. He has shown flashes but hasn’t posted nearly the numbers to expect a massive payday and as cap dollars dried up, so did his options.
Shabazz Muhammad And The Lakers?
The Minnesota Timberwolves are holding out hope they can re-sign free agent Shabazz Muhammad, but with continued talk that he may join the Lakers on a one-year deal, the Wolves have started to work out other players to fill their remaining open roster spot.
The Wolves renounced their rights to Muhammed to clear cap space to make the trades and roster signings they made this summer, specifically the two-year, $28 million deal with Taj Gibson.
In renouncing Muhammad, the Wolves lose any chance of using a Bird-type cap exception to re-sign him, meaning he’d have to accept the NBA minimum for his experience level, which is $1.577 million.
The problem for the Wolves is Muhammed was expecting a monster payday (and allegedly fired his agents as result of not getting it) and has soured on the situation. Many in NBA circles believe he’s weighing the idea of joining the Lakers, who may offer a bigger role and stage to regain his market value.
Alex Len And The Suns
Like Green and the Grizzlies, Len and his camp remain somewhat stuck with the Suns. Phoenix likes Len a great deal but seems unwilling to do a long-term big money deal.
The Suns continue to wait out the process, with expectations being that Len is going to sign his $4.18 million Qualifying Offer and report to camp. Len has until October 1st, so he can blow off the first week of camp if he so chooses, but it’s hard to imagine a player not getting serious free agent interest would risk alienating the team that might re-sign him next summer.
League sources said there was an initial offer made by the Suns early in free agency that did not meet Len’s expectations. It’s unclear if the Suns still have a multi-year offer on the table (they did in mid-July according to sources).
The Suns remain significantly under the $99 million 2017-18 salary cap and are carrying a $12.059 million cap hold on Len.
If Len does not sign the Qualifying Offer by October 1, the offer expires but the Suns retain their restricted rights to match offers.
The Suns, like most NBA teams, will open training camp the week of September 25.
We dropped our first NBA Team preview yesterday with the Brooklyn Nets being first out of the gate. The LA Lakers and Phoenix Suns will drop today, with new teams dropping every day all the way to the start of training camps.
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