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NBA PM: Carmelo’s Decision Coming Soon?

His camp is denying it, but the New York Daily News is reporting Carmelo Anthony is staying in the Big Apple long-term.

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Carmelo’s Decision Coming Soon?

According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, citing a close friend of Carmelo Anthony who is with him in Los Angeles, Anthony is staying in the Big Apple.

“I believe in Phil Jackson,” Anthony said to the close friend of his, which was relayed to Isola.

The Knicks have long been viewed as the heavy favorites to retain Anthony. They have a max contract offer on the table of five years and $129 million, and Knicks president Phil Jackson has sold him on his vision, which apparently is centered around trying to compete immediately. It was believed at first that Jackson wanted to keep the status quo of the previous regime, ride things out through 2014-15 in order to have basically a clear salary cap outside of Anthony’s contract to work with in free agency 2015. However, Jackson has been shopping the trade market aggressively, trying to shed the expiring contracts of Amare’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani to get under the salary cap and try to get help in immediately. His top target is Pau Gasol, who has been waiting to see what Anthony does while strongly considering following him wherever he goes. Isola states that Anthony will make his decision known Thursday.

Anthony and his camp refuted the report, with his agent Leon Rose telling ESPN that no decision has been made and that it is still up in the air whether he will choose the Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers. This is somewhat typical, though, as players prefer to put the message out themselves and always refute leaks. Isola is one of longest-tenured beat reporters in the business and wouldn’t put his credibility and reputation on the line without feeling extremely confident about his report.

Assuming Isola’s report is true, the Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets will be forced to move onto their Plan Bs, which our Joel Brigham went over in detail last week. Meanwhile, the Knicks will be able to move full steam ahead with their rebuilding plan, which becomes much more promising with their star player locked up.

With Anthony’s decision close to being made and LeBron James not far behind him, free agency is going to pick up significantly over the next couple of days. James and Anthony have been holding up the market, but business will start to proceed as normal very shortly. The league’s moratorium will be lifted at midnight eastern and agreements and trades will start to become official early Thursday.

Spurs, Popovich Agree to Extension

In an unsurprising development, the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a contract extension with head coach Gregg Popovich. This follows suit with the rest of their offseason so far, as the Spurs have gotten a commitment from Tim Duncan to return next year and re-signed their own free agents Boris Diaw and Patty Mills.

While the rest of the league is looking to make wholesale changes, in typical Spurs fashion they’re staying intact and gearing up for another run. The terms of Popovich’s extension were not released, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that he was making it known that he’d like to coach another four-to-five years.

The Spurs have made it clear that they’ll have him for as long as he wants, so the terms of the agreement could possibly for that length, and likely include a raise as a reward for his fifth championship.

Cavaliers’ Blatt Wins Euroleague Coach of the Year Honors

After leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to a surprising Euroleague Basketball Championship in May, newly appointed Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt was voted by his peers as the Euroleague Coach of the Year.

“I will be forever grateful to my staff, players, Maccabi management, and the great fans of Maccabi for helping me to achieve the wonderful accomplishments that we had together,” Blatt said in a statement. “I am so honored by this award. I am particularly proud of the great people I have worked with, and the legacy we have left in the special tradition of Maccabi Tel Aviv.”

Maccabi entered the Euroleague Final Four as a tremendous underdog. Not only did they endure late-season injuries to key starters, Maccabi was the only team in Milan without a player on the All-Euroleague First Team, and was the only qualifier that had lacked home-court advantage in the playoffs. Despite all of this, Maccabi was victorious against all odds, in large part due to Blatt’s ability to get the most out of his role players, reinvent the team’s playing style to take advantage of mismatches and inspire dramatic comebacks throughout the playoff run.

Maccabi managing director Danny Federman believes that Blatt will have similar success in the NBA.

“He certainly deserves this award,” Federman said. “David’s innovative style, insight into opponents and ability to maximize his players’ talents will serve him well in the NBA. This will definitely not be his last Coach of the Year award. I look forward to celebrating this with him in Cleveland this October.”

Federman was referring to the highly anticipated matchup between Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Cavaliers, which will kick off Maccabi’s Euroleague US Tour on Oct. 5. As the Cavs’ preseason opener, this will be Blatt’s first game as an NBA coach – against a very familiar foe. Maccabi will then go on to play against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 7 as part of the Euroleague US Tour.

For more on Blatt, including comments from his former players, and his transition to the NBA, check out this profile that Alex Kennedy wrote about him when Cleveland first announced the hire.

Andrew Wiggins Officially Joins adidas: The adidas hoops family added another big name on Wednesday, when Cleveland Cavaliers No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins inked an endorsement deal with the company.

While official terms of the agreement weren’t released, the deal is reportedly a five-year pact that will pay him $12-13 million over the length of the contract. It’s the largest deal that adidas has ever signed with a rookie, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

The 19-year-old expressed his excitement in a statement released by adidas this afternoon.
“Joining the adidas family is a blessing and an honor and I am extremely excited for what lies ahead,” Wiggins said. “Knowing that this elite brand is welcoming me into the family with such esteem gives me a great deal of pride. Our collaboration couldn’t be more organic both personally and professionally and I look forward to moving to the next level with the brand.”

Wiggins, who is a Toronto native, racked up an impressive list of accolades during his freshman campaign at Kansas. The highly anticipated NBA prospect was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, first-team All-Conference and second-team All-American. During the 2013-14 season, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points per game, the highest scoring average ever for a Jayhawk freshman. Prior to his career at Kansas, Wiggins earned 2013 Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year and McDonald’s All-American honors.

“Partnering with an elite talent of Andrew’s caliber continues our momentum and investment to the future of adidas,” said Chris Grancio, adidas’ head of global basketball sports marketing. “With our recent partnership success with first-time NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard and John Wall, and cultural icons Kanye West and Pharrell Williams joining the brand, we’re excited to welcome Andrew to the adidas family and we look forward to him contributing to our brand’s success for years to come.”
Wiggins is the second member of the 2014 draft class to join the adidas team alongside Danté Exum, who was drafted by the Utah Jazz as the No. 5 overall pick.

Wiggins and Exum join a group that already includes athletes Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, WNBA MVP Candace Parker of the LA. Sparks and four-time FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona.. Recently, adidas has also inked deals with celebrities like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams too.

Wiggins will be featured in a variety of upcoming adidas initiatives and will play a critical role in the development of basketball footwear and apparel, according to the release.

adidas is the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA Development League (D-League) after inking an 11-year global merchandising partnership with the NBA back on April 11, 2006.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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