Monday , Aug , 29 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

The Blog: Carmelo in Beijing? Finley in Phoenix? Jalen in Minnesota?

The Blog: Carmelo in Beijing?  Finley in Phoenix?  Jalen in Minnesota?

Carmelo Eager to Play in Beijing
People will raise the issue of whether or not Carmelo will be able to keep his ego in check, having been fairly vocal about being benched in Athens. However, he had every right to speak up then. Larry Brown, despite requiring shooters above all else, decided to leave ‘Melo riding the pine while inferior mid-range shooters hogged the court. I’m not saying he would have been the difference between bronze and gold, but it’s not difficult to see how he could have benefited the team when Coach Larry was running Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson at a zone simultaneously.
By 2008, Carmelo will have six seasons (five professional, one in college) of big-time ball to his name, and the experience that comes with that. Not only that, but he won’t yet have lived a quarter-century, putting him in a perfect position to contribute to a team that sorely needs a level head and a solid shooter, both of which he can provide. Run him out with LeBron and Dwyane (again), and the results should be a little different the second time around. It would be unwise to try to call an event three years away, but if the early indications are anything to go by (and, historically, they have been), the American squad should reclaim the Dream Team moniker in China.
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Jalen to Minnesota?
The man can call himself a scapegoat as much as he wants, but if he has problems everywhere he goes, he should probably look closer to home for the explanation. As talented and promising as he may have been, with eleven seasons of wear and tear on his body and a reputation as a troublemaker, this quarter of the Fab Four is no longer considered the trade commodity he once was. If Minnesota can pick him up for chump change (some claim that Toronto are as eager as ever to shift him), it’d be a deal worth considering.  If they’re asked to give up any of their front six, however, Kevin McHale will have torn up the fax before you can say “rip-off”.
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Fin Back to Phoenix?
Although most experts saw the battle for Finley as being between Miami and San Antonio, Phoenix seems to be figuring more prominently in his decision, if today’s reports are to be believed. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Mike has always had a soft spot for the Suns, with whom he played until partway through his sophomore season. While some would feel slighted at being traded despite promising performances (15, 5, 3.5 as a rook), Fin obviously isn’t the type to hold grudges, as he is apparently now thinking more closely about the possibility of a return to Arizona, where he would team up with his old buddy, Steve Nash.
However, Miami are still frontrunners, as they seem to have been for virtually every high-profile free agent this off-season. Although he would certainly be nothing more than a glorified role player with Shaq, Dwyane et al., his greatest chances of winning a championship are with the Heat, and this will play a major role in considering his options. Whatever the case, he’ll be announcing his decision in the very near future, perhaps as soon as tonight.
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In Other News
Isiah likes to cut the queue.
Ron Harper is to serve as an assistant to Flip Saunders.
Orlando refused to extend Kelvin Cato’s contract.