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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Avery Johnson ‘really confident’ Nets will re-sign Deron Williams

Johnson on Wednesday stood by a claim he made Tuesday on the radio that there is "no doubt" the team will be able to re-sign point guard Deron Williams when he becomes a free agent. "I have no doubt and I'm really, really confident that we'll be able to re-sign him,"


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, Coach Avery Johnson is right. The New Jersey Nets will have every opportunity to re-sign Deron Williams.

The Nets will soon cross the Hudson River into a shiny new stadium in Brooklyn, New York. Owner Mikhail Phrokorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, has no issue spending his rubbles on free agent talent. And there’s already Brook Lopez in the middle.

So New Jersey/Brooklyn is about to become a desirable location.

On the other hand, Williams wants to win. And he’ll have plenty of offers from other superstars in desirable locations.

For instance, the cross-town New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire may make a run at Williams. Down south, Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic will have interest in D-Will.

While the Nets are strongly positioned to keep Williams, it’s far from a sure thing.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Nene:’I want to be a Nugget for now and forever’

Nuggets nation may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, because the Brazilian born star says he has no intention of leaving Denver. "I want to be a Nugget for now and forever," Nene told HOOPSWORLD." But I know there is a lot of business [to handle], so I can say that today. "

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No more Carmelo Anthony. No more problems.

For months, Anthony’s pending free agency hung over the Denver Nuggets like a dark storm cloud. Every day there were rumors. And it was a distraction for players to hear their names included in the internet gossip.

Trading Anthony at the deadline to the New York Knicks created clarity. The cloud lifted; the team started moving the ball; their defence improved; and the damaging speculation ended.

Not surprisingly, longtime Nugget Nene Hilario suddenly wants to stay (like Anthony, he can opt-out of the final year of his contract by exercising an option this summer).

After all, the new look Nuggets are more of a team. For instance, seven to eight players are reaching double-figures in scoring each game.

Expect Nene to opt out this summer and then re-sign. Like all of the new Nuggets, he’s happy and having fun.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard: I want to stay in Orlando

“I love Orlando. The city has been very good to me and I would love to finish my career here. I want to win a championship and I want to win it in Orlando,” Howard said on the Dan Patrick Show Monday morning. “That’s all I’ve been thinking about.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’ve heard rumors Dwight Howard will leave the Orlando Magic as a free agent and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.

Well, not so fast. According to the massive five-man, this isn’t so.

Howard recently told scribes he wants to finish his career in Orlando, and bring an NBA Title to Disney World. There are a few reasons for these comments:

  • Clearly, the Magic aren’t trading Howard, so he and the team want to avoid the publicity that plagued Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and, most recently, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets.
  • He may choose to stay in Orlando. Howard is comfortable, the Magic are competitive, and Executive Otis Smith is committed to providing him with a top flight supporting cast.
  • Of course, he may have to stay in Orlando. The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires July 1st, and owners may prevent superstars from building super squads by allowing teams to apply a ‘franchise’ tag to top players.Translation: Orlando could keep Howard. It may not matter whether he wants to stay or go.

So Howard has to keep all options open. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with his comments.

--Oly Sandor

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Out of Bounds XI: The Knicks Get Carmelo!
Monday , Feb , 28 , 2011 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

Out of Bounds XI: The Knicks Get Carmelo!

In episode eleven of Out of Bounds, Marija "The Knicks Chick" Kero discusses the New York Knicks' acquisition of Carmelo Anthony.



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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Will Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony trades force a lockout?

Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season. "If you look at what happened with Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland ... they all lost their marquee player and had very little if anything to show for it," Miller said. "This trade allows us to be competitive now and beyond the 2012 season."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could this be the trigger that pushes the NBA’s small market owners to demand wholesale changes to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial system?

Consider the Utah Jazz’s predicament. Their superstar and best player, Deron Williams, longed for bright lights, a big city, and a chance at a championship.

That wasn’t happening in Utah, so Williams likely informed management he was opting-out of his contract in July of 2012.

Translation: he was gone.

The Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months convincing Williams to stay. Of course, the end result wouldn’t have changed and the Jazz would’ve lost their prime asset without compensation.

Just like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, the Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months negotiating a trade. They’d be daily fodder for pundits and fans on-line and on-air. Maybe Conan O’Brien would get in on the act.

Just like the Denver Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony.

Neither situation was appealing, which led to the Jazz suddenly shipping Williams to the Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and a pair of first round draft picks.

The Jazz did well, especially when considering Williams held all the cards, possessed all the leverage, and was hell-bent on using it. They were also lucky, though, because the Nets were willing to trade after losing out on Carmelo Anthony.

In four months, they –and the other small market owners- will get revenge. Much to the chagrin of the players, they’ll demand a hard cap, revenue sharing, and franchise player tags.

No more Anthony, Bosh, James, and Williams holding them hostage. And the looming lockout will be nasty, bitter, and long.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Warriors acquire Troy Murphy, Buyout coming?

The Warriors and Nets are close to finalizing a multi-player trade, according to sources. Golden State will send Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright to New Jersey for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second round pick.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Wait a second. Wasn’t Troy Murphy supposed to go to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade?

That’s right. Anthony declined the New Jersey Nets’ overtures and is now a New York Knick.

Anyway, the Nets wasted little time sending Murphy back to his first NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

Murphy isn’t returning home for a reunion or coming full circle, though.

In a day or so, the Warriors will buyout whatever is left on his expiring contract and allow him to hit the free agent market.

Murphy will then have his choice of contenders, and the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic are all expected to show interest.

On paper, the Magic makes the most sense. Murphy can help center Dwight Howard on the glass, while stretching defenses with his three-point range –like Rashard Lewis before he got moved to the Washington Wizards.

One issue will be Murphy’s conditioning. He has only played in 18 games due to injury and a bizarre banishing by Coach Avery Johnson.

After months of frustration, the left-handed veteran will hit the court. For the first time in his nine year career, he could see playoff action, too.

However, what exactly Murphy can contribute is unknown.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets looking to trade Gallinari, Harrington, and Nene?

More than half the NBA has called Denver about Nene's availability in trades, but the team's first order of business after trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks is convincing their offensively talented center to remain with the team. Nene is eligible to opt out of his contract this offseason, despite being owed $11.6 million for the 11-12 season.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What’s next in The Mile High City?

Unfortunately, trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks has only created more questions and uncertainty for the Denver Nuggets.

For instance, do they trade or extend Nene, their Brazilian post who can also opt-out of his contract at season’s end?

Can management correct last summer’s error and find a taker/sucker to assume the remaining years and money on Al Harrington’s mid-level pact?

Meanwhile, ESPN is reporting that the Nuggets are attempting to flip Danilo Gallinari to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, or Toronto Raptors.

There is one conclusion: the Nuggets are in overhaul mode. While they received a plethora of good pieces from the Knicks, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Gallinari, and Timofey Mozgov are hardly great.

The hard work is just beginning for rookie GM Masai Ujiri. He must now plot a path for Denver without Anthony, a top-fifteen player and recognizable personality.

The next two days could decide if Denver sinks to the depths of despair ala the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors post LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, if Denver stays relevant by developing some pieces and moving others for tangible assets.

Expect Ujiri to burn up the phone lines and explore all options right up to Thursday’s trade deadline. Indeed, Denver’s future is at stake.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to replace Billups with Paul or Williams in 2012?

Chauncey Billups, who had a non-guaranteed contract for the 11-12 season, but that deal will not be bought out. Billups is locked into his $14.2 million contract for the 11-12 season, according to a source. Because Billups' contract will expire for the 2012 offseason, the Knicks retain the flexibility to acquire a potential free agent such as Chris Paul or Deron Williams.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the wildcard in this blockbuster.

Today, the New York Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a bevy of young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks.

Reports indicate the Knicks picked-up the 2011-12 season of Billups’ contract; however, his $14 million pact will expire come July, 2012.

The timing is perfect. Right when Billups’ big ticket comes off the books, Chris Paul and Deron Williams hit the open market as unrestricted free agents.

Both have an interest in leaving their current team. Both have eyes on The Big Apple. And the Knicks could conceivably get their choice of the game’s top table-setters.

For the foreseeable future they have Billups, a steady hand with the ability to hit big shots in the clutch. In sixteen months, they’ll likely get Paul or Williams.

Think of it: Anthony, Stoudemire, and Paul or Williams. This group could compete with the east’s best trios like the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade, the Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Derrick Rose, and the Boston Celtics’ fab four’ of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo.

Perhaps the best of the Anthony deal is yet to come. And perhaps that will be when Paul or Williams arrive at Madison Square Gardens.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Isiah Thomas to join Carmelo Anthony in New York?

The Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony in a blockbuster trade on Monday, but the price was steeper than Donnie Walsh was hoping to pay.New York's front office has been suffering from a power struggle, with Isiah Thomas consulting James Dolan and the franchise also recently hired Mark Warkentien who is a CAA client. "This is all Dolan. All Isiah. All (Worldwide) Wes and Leon Rose," said an ally of Walsh.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony is heading to the New York Knicks, and Isiah Thomas might soon join him.

Reports indicate Knicks owner James Dolan used Isiah Thomas, a former employee, and consultant ‘Worldwide’ Wes to acquire Anthony because current Executive Donnie Walsh wasn’t bullish on the Denver Nuggets’ forward.

Clearly, there’s a power struggle occurring in the Knickerbockers’ front office. And the daggers are out since Walsh's contract expires at season's end.

Here’s the question: would Dolan actually let Walsh, a respected front office guru, leave and replace him with Thomas, a man who has slashed and burned everything he has touched since taking off a Detroit Pistons jersey?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

Yes, Dolan has reservations about re-signing Walsh –even though he cleaned up much of the cap mess Thomas created during his ‘Reign of Terror’ at Madison Square Garden.

Yes, Dolan has something against the class, stability, and professionalism Walsh exudes and has a soft spot for Thomas’ tomfoolery, shenanigans, and lawsuits.

And yes, Dolan seems apathetic to Dolan’s more restrained personality and seems taken by Thomas’ Cheshire-cat smile and charm.

If Walsh is given the boot for Thomas, the Knicks will again sink to the bottom of the standings –regardless of how much talent they have on-court.

After all, great organizations have stability at the top. Zeke only knows the opposite: instability. Since leaving the Pistons, he has walked on the Continental Basketball Association and Toronto Raptors, while also destroying the Knicks, one of the NBA’s great franchises.

To be fair, he had mediocre results as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.  

Don’t be surprised if Anthony’s return to his home of New York marks the return of Thomas. And the sequel won’t be better than the original.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

‘Melo-Drama Over: Carmelo Anthony traded to NY Knicks

Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Knicks, according to a sources that spoke to the Denver Post and New York Daily News. New York will give up Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's expiring contract, their own first round pick in 2014, Golden State's second round picks in 2012 and 2013, and $3 million in cash.

Randolph and Curry will go to Minnesota. Corey Brewer is also expected to be traded to the Nuggets. Going to the Knicks with Anthony will be Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The ‘Melo-Drama’ is over. The superstar got what he wanted –a return home.

The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets have reportedly completed a three team, twelve player trade that would see Carmelo Anthony play regularly at historic Madison Square Gardens.

This deal, however, raises several questions for the Knicks.

First, can Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, two Alpha Males with egos the size of Manhattan, share the ball and spotlight?

Second, should New York have gutted their roster for Anthony, a scorer who has yet to prove he can make those around him better?

Third, wouldn't they have been wiser to sign Anthony as a free agent when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed and keep their supporting pieces?

Finally, are the Knicks better with Anthony?

Nevertheless, they deserve credit for taking a chance and acquiring Anthony –even if they had to sacrifice most of their team to do so.

Only time will tell if their gamble pays off, though.

Come back to HoopsVibe News for more on the Anthony trade.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams to join Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony with Knicks?

Deron Williams began informing associates after last season that if Amar'e Stoudemire wound up in New York, he would follow him there as a free agent in 2012, according to sources.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Deron Williams wants to play for the New York Knicks.

For years, Williams has plied his trade with the Utah Jazz. While often good, the Jazz lack the financial resources and/or co-stars to legitimately challenge for a championship.

Williams knows this. As do the Jazz. And nothing short of communist style revenue sharing in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement can change this.

This is frustrating for the All-Star point guard; however, it’s less of an issue for the Jazz’s front office, who are content with qualifying for the playoffs.

Williams’ frustration has occasionally been taken out on teammates and coaches, which made him an easy scapegoat when Hall of Fame sideline boss Jerry Sloan suddenly retired last week.

It’s no secret Williams and Sloan clashed, but no player could force the hardscrabble coach out. Sloan left the Jazz because he wanted to. He had nothing left.

So the recent drama likely solidified Williams’ desire to leave the Jazz as a free agent in two years. He surely wants better teammates, a bigger market, and a chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

New York in 2012 makes sense.

The Knicks will have Amar’e Stoudemire and quite possibly Carmelo Anthony; ‘The Big Apple’ would provide greater endorsement opportunities; and owner James Dolan has no issue spending on talent.

Williams will have competition, though. In sixteen months, Chris Paul will become a free agent, and the tiny table-setter has also been linked to the Knicks.

It may come down to the system. If the Knicks are still using Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ offence, they’ll sign the speedy Paul. If they’re more of a half-court team, they’ll sign the powerful Williams.

Bottom line: Williams’ situation with the Jazz is bound to get interesting.

--Oly Sandor.
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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Anthony says no to extension with Nets

Carmelo Anthony has informed people close to him that he will not sign an extension with the Nets, according to sources.  Anthony has had a longstanding preference to play for the Knicks.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets?

For months, Carmelo Anthony has been going back-and-forth on where he hopes the Denver Nuggets trade him. Anthony, of course, has considerable leverage because he can become a free agent at season’s end and pick where he plays.

A trade between Denver and New Jersey is now unlikely because reports are surfacing that Anthony told the Nets he wouldn’t sign an extension with them.

So the Knicks it is, apparently.

The Nets won’t mortgage the house, farm, and family compound in a trade for Anthony if he intends on crossing the Hudson River and signing with the rival Knicks. That would be a public relations disaster.

The Anthony saga is like a crime fiction novel –with twists and turns each day. Don’t completely count the Nets out.   

Today, the Knicks are the frontrunner. Tomorrow is anybody’s guess, however.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Feb , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Nuggets and Nets, sort of, agree on Carmelo Anthony trade

The Nets and Nuggets reportedly have reached a tentative agreement on a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. The deal is pending Anthony's agreement on a long-term contract extension with the Nets. The trade would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman to New Jersey, and Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round draft picks to Denver.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We have closure. Or do we?

Reports indicate the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets have tentatively agreed to a massive trade with Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Devin Harris, and Derrick Favors changing sides.

Before this blockbuster becomes official, Anthony and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov are apparently scheduled to meet in Los Angeles over All-Star weekend.

During their little sit down, Anthony will inquire about the club’s long-term plans, while the Russian billionaire will gauge the three-man’s interest in inking a long-term extension.

If both sides like what they hear, it’s supposedly a go. But few things in the NBA are so simple, especially when dealing Anthony’s fate.

Most are hoping this saga ends this weekend, though, with Anthony finally pulling on a Nets uniform.

Stay locked to HoopsVibe News for more on this breaking story.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Feb , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets and Nuggets playing hardball over Carmelo Anthony?

Through his assistant, Mikhail Prokhorov apparently denied that the Nets have re-entered trade talks with the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony.

"Mikhail has not changed his mind," the assistant wrote.When asked if that meant that New Jersey's owner is not interested in continuing his team's pursuit of Anthony, she replied as follows: What I said is what I said. Not what you said."

Reports surfaced on Wednesday and Thursday that the Nets were again engaged with Denver and the discussion was advancing.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: One minute Carmelo Anthony is on his way to the New Jersey Nets as part of a seven player blockbuster trade.

One minute later, the deal is off –and the Nets are maintaining their stance about not giving away the farm to the Denver Nuggets for Anthony.

What report to believe? Well, the truth is in the middle. On paper, a deal between the Nets and Nuggets makes sense.

Mikhail Prokhorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, needs to make headlines before his Nets bolt New Jersey and move into their new billion dollar Brooklyn digs.

Nothing would get the basketball world talking like the Nets acquiring and resigning Anthony, especially if they upstage the rival New York Knicks.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets know Anthony won’t sign an extension to stay in the Mile High City. They have to make a trade before the February 24th deadline.

If there’s no trade, the small forward will become a free agent at season’s end and head for New York. The Nuggets would get nothing back and become like the 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors post Chris Bosh.

In short, the Nuggets have to cut a trade. The Nets have the best assets.

Unfortunately, both teams know the other’s hand. And the Nuggets and Nets are determined to play hard ball with each other.

Perhaps a deal happens; perhaps not. These teams will have another conversation or two before the trade deadline passes.

Just don't either side to admit it. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves want Nash?

The Timberwolves are one of the teams that have called the Suns to check on the availability of Steve Nash, reports Marc Stein.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Should Minnesota Timberwolves fans laugh or cry after hearing Executive David Kahn tried to trade for the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash?

After all, Nash isn’t a fit for the Wolves. And the Wolves aren’t a fit for Nash. These two would be the worst match since Anna Nicole Smith married that old billionaire.

Nash is 37 years old. The two-time MVP has a limited time horizon, and will only leave the warmth of Phoenix for a contender. Not a good playoff team, but a class organization with legitimate championship aspirations.

Class and championships are words one doesn’t associate with Glen Taylor’s Wolves. And Nash may retire rather than suit up for the rebuilding Wolves.

This would actually be a positive for the Wolves, who must develop Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -whenever the Euro sensation crosses the Atlantic for America.

Kahn doesn’t see it that way, though. Perhaps he’s inquiring about Nash and Anthony to prove to pending free agent Kevin Love he’s serious about upgrading the team’s talent.

However, Kahn has no chance at either superstar. And his failures only reinforce the Wolves’ inadequacies.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Feb , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets want Felton in trade for Anthony?

Recent rumors indicate that the Nuggets would like the Knicks to include Raymond Felton in a package for Carmelo Anthony, with Chauncey Billups ending up in New York as part of the deal as well.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s no escape. It’s the beast of all rumors. Amar’e Stoudemire aside, every New York Knick has now been included in trade discussion for the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony.
And it won’t stop. Not until the Nuggets and Knicks finally complete the inevitable and agree to terms on a deal to send Anthony east to Madison Square Garden.

The latest episode in the daily soap opera called As ‘Melo Turns has Ray Felton joining the Nuggets, while Billups would follow Anthony to the Knicks.

Just a thought: how would Stoudemire feel about Felton changing teams? Over the last few months, STAT and the former Charlotte Bobcat have developed into a formidable pick-and-roll tandem.

The two have an obvious chemistry. And this would be hard to replicate with Billups, even though Mr. Big Shot is still a steady table-setter.

Of course, Billups may not stick in New York. The veteran does not have a guaranteed contract for the 2012 season, so the Knicks could waive him and increase their cap space.

The rumors will continue until this blockbuster trade/marriage between Anthony and the Knicks is finally consummated.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Feb , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Why Bynum for Anthony trade won’t happen

A report from ESPN on Tuesday indicated that the Lakers and Nuggets were holding preliminary discussions about a trade involving Carmelo Anthony and Andrew Bynum.

"What's out there is inaccurate," said a Lakers representative familiar with the negotiations. Denver is also in discussions with the Knicks, the team Anthony is reportedly set on playing for by the 11-12 season.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounded too good to be true. Glamour franchise gets glamour scorer and only gives up a talented but brittle center.

And it was.

The Los Angeles Lakers have shot down reports they were considering sending Andrew Bynum to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Carmelo Anthony.

The Lakers likely denied these reports because the Nuggets had little interest in Bynum, a massive five-man who has never fulfilled his considerable potential because of injury.

The only thing about an Anthony-for-Bynum swap that made sense was the money: their annual salaries were a rough match under the NBA’s salary cap.

Contracts aside, this idea was flawed.

For instance, the Nuggets would not give up their superstar and franchise face for an injury prone post with two years remaining on his big-ticket contract.

Instead, the Nuggets want expiring contracts, blue-chip prospects, and/or draft picks for Anthony. Bynum is none of these.

The Lakers have struggled of late; however, sacrificing Bynum’s size for Anthony’s scoring is hardly the answer. After all, Anthony is a shot-first, option-A player.

He doesn’t defer. In fact he can’t defer. And last I checked the Lakers already had the ultimate Alpha-Male scorer in Kobe Bryant.

Then there’s the issue of protecting the paint. The Lakers won game seven of last year’s NBA Finals in large part because Bynum, despite being hurt, controlled the glass against the Boston Celtics.

Without their starting five, the purple-and-gold would be vulnerable against bigger, physical squads, especially in a down-and-dirty playoff series.

Finally, Anthony will opt-out at the end of the season and become a free agent. Would Anthony re-sign out west? And would the Lakers offer an extension for the maximum available under the new financial system?

Expect the Nuggets to go in a different direction when trying to move Anthony. Expect the Lakers to also go in a different direction with any trade deadline upgrades.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Feb , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

New York Madness: why the Knicks shouldn’t trade for Carmelo Anthony

In the three-team package, the Knicks would be giving up Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract. That would seem too good to be true, and one person familiar with talks said there could be other pieces involved.

"I don't think we have anything going, but we're getting a feeling for possibilities,'' Walsh said before the Knicks played the 76ers at the Garden. "We have a better feeling for what's going to happen.'' In Donniespeak, that means things have progressed, with the trade deadline still a very long 19 days away. The Nuggets would get a first-round pick, Chandler and Minnesota's Corey Brewer, but the feeling is they would have to gain more for this deal to take place.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Trading for Carmelo Anthony makes as much sense for the New York Knicks as re-hiring Isiah Thomas.

Maybe less.

After all, Anthony wants to suit up for the Knicks. He’ll take less of everything – shots, cold hard cash, and spotlight- to call Madison Square Garden home.

Why give up an expiring contract, Eddy Curry, and two young assets, Wilson Chandler and Anthony Randolph, when Anthony will sign as a free agent and cost nothing but money?

Speaking of money, Anthony will cost less as a free agent. Suppose the Knicks acquire Melo before the February 24th deadline. They would need to honour the final year of his max contract and extend him under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.

So Anthony would make $18 million in 2012 and possibly $20 million per year from 2013 to 2016.

Suppose the Knicks hold off on a trade. To become a free agent, Anthony would have to opt-out of the last year of his current contract and leave $18 million on the table.

His next contract would fall under the new CBA, which will reduce all player salaries –even those paid to superstars.

Waiting for Anthony would cost the Knicks far less in terms of assets and money. It’s the smart, prudent move.

Unfortunately, there are rumblings Thomas will return to New York and replace executive Donnie Walsh, despite causing nothing but mayhem and destruction.

Perhaps Anthony becomes a Knick before February 24th.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: NY Knicks or bust for Carmelo Anthony?

Several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Carmelo Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has recently begun informing teams that the All-Star forward is interested in signing a contract extension with only the New York Knicks.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony’s representatives are confirming the worst secret in sports. One way or another, the three-man will play for the New York Knicks.

Forget the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets; same with the Denver Nuggets. Anthony has his heart set on Madison Square Garden.

The only thing left to be settled is when and how much: when will the All-Star suit up in New York? And how much will it cost the player and team?

Anthony’s representatives have hurt his trade value by making it known he’ll only sign an extension with the Knicks.

This changes Anthony’s situation, making him a two month rental for most teams since he can become a free agent in July. Perhaps a contender with a closing championship window, like Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, makes a deal before the February 24th trade deadline.

Perhaps the Knicks and Nuggets end this Melo-drama by swinging a deal before the deadline. The Knicks and Anthony would, of course, agree on an extension.

Here’s the most likely scenario: Anthony ends up waiting for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be settled, opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent, and promptly signs with the Knicks.

After all, why would the Knicks sacrifice young assets like Wilson Chandler and Landry Fields in a trade for Anthony when they can simply sign him this summer?

There is a twist. Signing with the Knicks as a free agent will cost Anthony. The new CBA will reduce the value of every NBA contract, including those given to superstars. Anthony will bank several million dollars if he can get to New York and agree to an extension before season’s end.

One way or another, Anthony will be a Knick. Timing and money are all that is left to be settled.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jan , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson not returning to Turkey?

With a belief the injured Allen Iverson won't return this season, Besiktas of Turkey tried and failed to sign Sundiata Gaines, sources say.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is this his final answer?

Reports indicate Allen ‘The Answer’ Iverson won’t return to his Turkish club team this season because of a leg injury. Of course, next year has to be in doubt, too.

However, the real issue is whether Iverson retires or keeps trudging along, seeking a job overseas as a way to land one final audition with an NBA team.

The last few years have been tough on Iverson. There was his messy divorce with the Philadelphia 76ers; he and Carmelo Anthony never met expectations with the Denver Nuggets; Detroit and Memphis was a disaster; and his reunion with the 76ers was mixed.

Before getting injured, Iverson was having a mediocre season with a somewhat competitive Turkish squad.

Perhaps Iverson is at fault for the way his career is ending. But one of the greatest little men to ever play basketball deserves better than this.

--Oly Sandor.

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