NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony Opting In?

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Jackson Asks Anthony To Opt In

Now Jackson is doing what he can to make sure Carmelo Anthony is still a Knick next season—and beyond. Jackson said that he asked Anthony to consider opting into the final year of his contract, as opposed to becoming a free agent this summer. Anthony, who has indicated for months that he would opt out of the deal and test the free-agent market, told Jackson that he would give the idea due consideration

via Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal

Phil Jackson missed out on his number one candidate for head coach in Steve Kerr and is now doing what he can to make sure Carmelo Anthony doesn’t walk away as well.

The prevailing belief has been that Anthony would opt out of his the final year of his current contract and either re-sign long term with the Knicks, or move to a team like the Chicago Bulls. However, by opting in to his final year, Anthony would get a chance to see if Jackson, and whoever he eventually hires as head coach, can turn the Knicks into a contending team quickly. With veteran players like Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire still on the roster, it is possible that a new system, such as the triangle offense, could turn things around in New York. However, even Jackson has expressed his doubts in this core of players, describing the pairing of Anthony and Stoudemire as “clumsy” in 2012. Still, if anyone can optimize the talent on the Knicks roster, it is probably Jackson.

The final year on Anthony’s contract is worth $23,333,403.

Donald Sterling Out of Options?

Adrian Wojnarowski: Asked source involved w/ Clippers sale process if Sterling has any legal avenue to stop Ballmer ownership, “No. He is totally boxed in.”

via Adrian Wojrarowski of Yahoo Sports

It has been a busy few days for Shelly Sterling, who seems to have successfully executed a deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Shelly was able to do so as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust after it was determined that Donald Sterling was no longer mentally competent to reasonably run the team as he may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Under the rules of the Sterling Family Trust, this gave Shelly sole control, and allowed her to execute a deal without Donald’s approval.

It was later reported that Shelly, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, agreed to indemnify the NBA against any future lawsuits regarding the sale, including Donald. This provided the NBA with the confidence to drop the hearing that was scheduled for June 3 to formally remove Sterling by a vote of the owners, and move forward with procedures to approve Ballmer as the new owner of the Clippers.

In response, Donald filed a lawsuit against the NBA on Friday, however the league is confident that the suit lacks merit. This is not a done deal, but it looks like Donald is out of options, and the sale will likely be approved by July 15.

Ballmer Not Moving the Clippers to Seattle

Ballmer promised Friday he would keep the Clippers in L.A., gushed about the city where he said he will now spend considerable time and suggested he would pay what it takes to land top free agents.

“I’ve got big dreams for the team. I’d love to win a championship. I’d love the Clippers to be the most dynamic, vibrant team and name in professional sports. But I got a lot to learn.”

Ballmer offered reassurances that he had no intention of moving the Clippers to Seattle. He suggested he is embracing Los Angeles as a second home and can make the business work best in the second-largest media market in the country.

via James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times

While Steve Ballmer has not been approved as the official owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, he is already talking about his plans for the team. Ballmer stated that he would not move the team to Seattle, and is looking to turn the Clippers into “America’s team.”

While the Clippers may not exactly become America’s team, it is surely a team on the rise. With a top head coach, two stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, a solid supporting cast, the second largest media market in the country, and now (unofficially) the wealthiest owner in the league, the Clippers are now a destination franchise. It was only a few weeks ago that players across the league were stating that they would never play for Sterling. If the sale goes through smoothly, it doesn’t look like the team will face any of these issues in free agency.

Though the sale of the team is not yet official, it seems that everyone is happy to see this saga coming to a close.