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NBA PM: Jeff Hornacek’s Loud Silence

Jeff Hornacek doesn’t sound like he wants Carmelo, while the Cavs don’t appear to want the East’s top seed.

Moke Hamilton

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Hornacek’s Silence on Carmelo Speaks Volumes

Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson have been about as subtle as a woodpecker; they each want Carmelo Anthony gone. From Jackson’s perspective, that much has been obvious for quite some time, but if there was any doubt about how Hornacek felt about Anthony and his future with the club, he probably tipped his hand on Tuesday.

As Hornacek confirmed that Anthony would sit out the team’s final game of the season on Wednesday, he, of course, was asked about Anthony and whether or not his time with the team had come to an end. As quoted by Marc Berman of the New York Post, Hornacek didn’t exactly give the 32-year-old, 10-time All-Star a ringing endorsement.

β€œI think it’s all his choice still with his contract,’’ Hornacek said when asked directly whether he wanted Anthony back. Although not necessarily negative, sometimes, it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do. As Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Chris Paul prepare for free agency this summer, how do you think any of their head coaches would have responded if asked whether they wanted their franchise players back?

Hornacek’s failure to answer in the affirmative speaks volumes, but isn’t necessarily surprising. It also isn’t necessarily wrong. The Knicks are clearly a team that, unfortunately for the franchise, is still rebuilding. Hornacek said as much, and also suggested that the young players the club is trying to develop might be better off without Anthony.

β€œIt would be beneficial for a veteran guy with young players for the leadership, the knowledge of the game. It could be a positive,” Hornacek said when asked whether Anthony fit into the “youth movement” that appears to be taking shape around him. β€œIt’s a negative if the young guys rely on the veterans to do everything and they don’t move forward. That’s the bad part of it.”

Berman’s report does a solid job of both laying out the facts and relaying Hornacek’s words, but sometimes, what isn’t said speaks just as loudly.

As Anthony and the franchise he has played with for the past six years appear headed for a divorce, it should be pointed out that the 22.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game are not all that far off from his career averages of 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Anthony will turn 33 years old next month, but he still has some tread on his tires and, many believe, would look good next to Chris Paul (presumably in a Clippers uniform). He may look just as good in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform, but he will continue to hold all of the leverage, considering his well-reported no-trade clause.

Before April 11, most people thought that Anthony had played his last game for the Knicks. If you read between the lines, Jeff Hornacek said just as much, even if he didn’t.

Cavaliers Settling For Second Seed?

It all comes down to the final night of the regular season, and who could have foreseen that? The Boston Celtics will have an opportunity to secure the best record in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, if the Celtics lose and the Cavaliers defeat the visiting Toronto Raptors, the Cavaliers would earn the top seed by virtue of the tiebreaker.

It’s interesting, but is it a big deal? Maybe not.

The Cavaliers have been struggling lately, to put it mildly. The club entered the All-Star break at 39-16 and is just a staggering 12-14 since. What makes it more interesting is the fact that the Cavaliers seem almost content to settle for the second seed, as general manager David Griffin confirmed that James would sit out the team’s regular-season finale on Wednesday. Along with James, who is nursing a sore calf, both Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson have missed games recently, as well.

The Cavs are attempting to win the Eastern Conference for the third consecutive year while LeBron James is attempting to play in his seventh consecutive NBA Finals. Fortunately, for James, holding the conference’s top seed doesn’t appear to be a requisite for winning a championship. In 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, James’ teams finished with the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and in 2012, his team beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals. He has had no problem knocking off the top seed in the conference over the years, whether it was the Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers or Chicago Bulls.

Seemingly content to settle for the second seed, if James is to make his seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals (and eighth overall), he may have to add the Celtics on that list.

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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