chauncey-billups
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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash for Billups?

"There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Suns point guard Steve Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason. The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D'Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The whispers won’t die. Steve Nash continues to be connected to the New York Knicks.

Here’s the latest Nash-to-New York tidbit: the Knicks want to send veteran Chauncey Billups to the Phoenix Suns for the charismatic Canadian.

This rumor works for two reasons. First, Billups and Nash both have expiring deals. They make similar money. So the contracts match.

Second, it’s 2012 or bust for Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. ‘Mr. Seven Seconds or Less’ must exceed expectations to earn another contract from owner James Dolan.

Enter Nash.

The two-time MVP is the best point guard to run D’Antoni’s system. Nash’s passing and creativity would help former Phoenix teammate Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony post career numbers.

The Knicks would entertain. Madison Square Gardens would be fun. And they’d probably win, which means D’Antoni gets his extension.

There's a complication: Phoenix owner Robert Sarver won’t trade Nash. This may be posturing, though.

Sarver would part ways with any asset if given enough of a financial incentive. The outspoken owner was particularly hard hit by the financial downturn.

Perhaps Nash finally joins the Knicks. Perhaps it’s as simple as meeting Sarver’s price.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Billups stop-gap so Knicks can sign Paul or Williams?

As we’ve written here, keeping Chauncey Billups around is a no-brainer. He’s better than any point guard the Knicks could have gotten on the free-agent market with whatever cap money they’d have produced by buying him out _ an estimated $8 million, but under the soon-to-be-moot old labor agreement.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Picking up the option on Chauncey Billups’ contract was the prudent move.

Sure, he gives the New York Knicks a steady hand at point guard. And sure, he’ll be better with an off-season to get healthy and a full training camp.

However, this wasn’t about 2012. It was about July 1st, 2012. That’s when Chris Paul and Deron Wiliams, two of the NBA’s top point guards, become free agents.

Both would be open to signing a lucrative contract with the big market Knicks –if the numbers fit according to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will hopefully be worked out soon.

So Billups is simply keeping the point guard seat warm for Paul or Williams. For now, he’ll do. There is, however, a fear he’s getting older and slowing down.

Of course, that’s what people were saying when Billups got sent to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson. Soon, he rediscovered his game and was an MVP candidate.

The difference is time. It’s starting to catch Billups. Thankfully, for the Knicks, he should be good for another year.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to replace D’Antoni and/or Billups?

The way the Knicks have struggled with Chauncey Billups running Mike D'Antoni's offense has rival executives wondering whether one of them -- or both -- won't be back next season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The coach and coach on-the-floor could soon be out of work.

There are rumors the New York Knicks will cut ties with sideline boss Mike D’Antoni and point guard Chauncey Billups at season’s end.

Like all things New York Knicks, it’s complicated.

D’Antoni’s future is linked to executive Donnie Walsh. Unbelievably, Walsh, who brought the Knicks back to respectability after years of dysfunction under Isiah Thomas, may be pushed out at year’s end.

This would trickle down to the bench. D’Antoni was Walsh’s choice. And the 'Seven Seconds or Less' guru is protected with Walsh in the executive suite.

Walsh wasn’t the choice of owner James Dolan, though. He was the choice of Commissioner David Stern, who ‘suggested’ Dolan hire the veteran executive after Thomas’ shenanigans and tomfoolery became too great a black eye for league head office to ignore.

Dolan, who resents being told what to do, may re-hire his buddy Thomas. And ‘Zeke’ would then replace D’Antoni with his guy on the sideline.

This brings us to Billups. He has struggled to appease the club’s two scorers, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Billups is slated to earn $14 million in 2012; however, he can be bought out for $3.7 million. Expect the Knicks to exercise this clause –especially if the muscular table-setter can’t become Mr. Big Shot down the stretch or in the playoffs.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Billups won’t be back. The club could buy him out and re-sign him for considerably less money. Or, player and team could simply part ways. Nothing is set in stone.

There’s a famous saying ‘Only in New York’. Perhaps this should be revised to ‘Only in New York with the Knicks’.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Mar , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis: I`m still a top-five point guard

He also agreed with coach Byron Scott, who called Davis one of the NBA's top five point guards when healthy. "I believe so," Davis said from Thursday's practice. "I love the game, I study the game, I see the game with a different set of eyes than a lot of other guys."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s little doubt Baron Davis -when motivated, fit, and healthy- can play.

Unfortunately, Davis is rarely motivated, which means he’s hardly ever fit. Of course, an unmotivated and out of shape player is an often injured player.

After all, Davis has spent most of the last few years sulking about playing for the lowly Los Angeles Clippers, a team he picked as an unrestricted free agent.

He seemed more interested in making movies with his Hollywood buddies. He often had a ‘generous’ physique. And his play suffered.

Sadly, after teasing fans in Golden State, Davis has been a bust. He’s withered away his talent, content to take advantage of the perks that come with a plush, guaranteed contract.

None of this has impacted Davis’ confidence. After all, Davis –even when at full strength- isn’t a top five point guard.

Not anymore and not now. The one-spot currently belongs to up-and-comers like Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams.

There’s also established heads like Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, and Tony Parker. And what about talented youngsters and veterans like Darren Collison, Stephen Curry, Ray Felton, Jason Kidd, and Andre Miller?

All have performed at a higher level than Davis. In fact, Davis, who was recently traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, might have trouble beating out Ramon Sessions for the starting table-setter job –if all things are equal.

Hopefully, Davis gets motivated, fit, and, as a result, stays healthy. Hopefully, he salvages whatever he can of his career. At 31, the clock is ticking.

--Oly Sandor.


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Chauncey Billups is Method Man
Tuesday , Mar , 01 , 2011 Paul Eide

Chauncey Billups is Method Man

If Chauncey Billups was a rapper he would be Method Man. Sure, everyone knows who he is and that he’s good, but few people can point to a single specific performance to define him as such. And what makes both so unheralded is actually what makes them great; they are so good at doing what they do and at multiple facets consistently, that they are taken for granted.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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Sunday , Feb , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

JR Smith on future with Nuggets: ‘I don’t know where I stand’

Still, he wonders what the future holds. I'm in a tough situation," Smith said. "They don't really know what they want to do, as far as what direction they want to go in — if they do (trade) Melo or if they don't. So it's tough for me in my position because I don't know where I stand. So, you just have to keep playing it out and see how it looks."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
There’s less attitude, chest-pounding, scowls, and poor decisions on-and-off court. There’s more maturity, smiles, and sound behaviour.

This may not be enough to keep J.R. Smith with the Denver Nuggets. After all, the Nuggets are in a holding pattern until they decide the fate of superstar Carmelo Anthony.

If the Nuggets trade Anthony to the New York Knicks, they rebuild. Chauncey Billups gets moved. The same goes for Smith, who is in the final year of his contract.

If the Nuggets re-sign Anthony for three-years at $65 million, they reload. Billups sticks around; Smith and management likely discuss a new contract.

However, there’s a difference between discussing and signing a contract.

The Nuggets may decide Smith is expendable –regardless of Anthony’s fate. A contender in need of help at the two-guard –like, say, the Chicago Bulls- could make an offer they can’t refuse.

The only thing Smith can do is to play. And play well. The rest will take care of itself.

--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.

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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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Tuesday , Jan , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Avery Johnson on the Nets acquiring Carmelo Anthony: ‘That’s laughable’

Uncharacteristically candid on the topic, Avery Johnson diffused reports stating Carmelo Anthony could join the Nets this coming week. "That's laughable," Johnson said about the reports. "It's straight comedy to me and that's the problem because we deal with this stuff everyday and I'm fine dealing with it, you know, but it's laughable. It's comedy.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What can Avery Johnson say about Carmelo Anthony? After all, the New Jersey Nets’ sideline boss is in a no-win situation.

On the one hand, Johnson can’t admit the organization is trying to trade a third of the roster because the deal may not happen. And then Johnson would be stuck coaching players he tried to trade.

On the other hand, Johnson must be excited about the possibility of adding Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Rip Hamilton to a roster that already has seven-footer Brook Lopez.

But again, he can’t say anything publicly about other teams’ players because that would be tampering.  Johnson is right, though. The Anthony saga is comedy. It’s laughable.

Sure, the Denver Nuggets’ swing is a talented, but the Nets seem a little too willing to put their season on hold to acquire him.

Hopefully, the Nets have a fallback. Anthony has mentioned more than once that his preference is to return home and play for the New York Knicks. He even called it the ‘ultimate’.

And Anthony has leverage in that he can opt-out of his contract at season’s end and sign with New York, the team of his choosing.

The situation is complicated for all involved, so Johnson has no choice but to laugh. In fact, it’s all he can do.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jan , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Pistons helping Nets land Anthony and Billups?

Two sources confirmed to CBSSports.com Friday night that the Nets were trying to recruit the Pistons to enter a blockbuster three-team scenario in which New Jersey would've gotten Anthony and Chauncey Billups from the Nuggets and Richard Hamilton from the Pistons. The complicated and intriguing scenario was first reported by the The Record of Hackensack, N.J. 

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not long ago, GM Joe Dumars was confident he could rebuild his Detroit Pistons on the fly.

The plan was simple enough: trade Chauncey Billups’ multi-year contract for Allen Iverson’s expiring contract; let Iverson’s contract come off-the-books; and ink a big-ticket free agent.

Then Detroit would be back. They’d have the horses to beat the Boston Celtics and win another championship.

Well, the plan never materialized. Instead of landing a big-ticket free agent, Dumars signed underachievers like Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. And instead of rebuilding on the fly, the Pistons have gotten worse.

They’re part of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Only they aren’t competing for Anthony, the big-ticket piece they supposedly covet. They’ve been relegated to third team status.

Reports indicate the Pistons’ involvement will allow the Nets to get Anthony, and former Piston Billups, who Dumars originally dealt to the Denver Nuggets for Iverson three years ago.

Things have come full circle for Piston-nation. Rebuilding on the fly didn’t work. Now Dumars must tear the team he built down and start all over.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony on attending Denver event: ‘First time in my life I’ve been booed’

Melo says he was booed at a WEC event in Broomfield on Thursday." First time in my life I've been booed."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Bravo Denver.

Carmelo Anthony attended his first event in Denver since his pending free agency and trade request became a scandal of Lohan proportion. And he got booed.

Like the rest of the world, Nugget fans are tired of ‘Melo’, too. They’re tired of the rumours, gossip, and speculation. And they want closure on the 24-hour updates with their franchise face on a plane out of town.

After all, what has Anthony won in the NBA? Well, nothing.

Sure, he’s a superb scorer, but he needed pass-first point guard Chauncey Billups to advance to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Bottom line: Anthony’s pulling a diva act. While he’s very good, he’s yet to be great.

So keep booing Denver. It’s justified.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rondo left Team USA to ‘win another championship’

 "It was great to practice every day against the best young talent in the league, a veteran like Chauncey Billups and play for a Hall of Fame coach [Mike Krzyzewski]," Rondo said. "But some of these guys hadn't played since April. Lamar [Odom] and I had just got out of Game 7. And next season is right around the corner. I feel like I had to take advantage of the opportunity I have right now to win another championship. It's not often you get to play with four Hall of Famers. Another couple of years and I won't have that."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s hard to criticize Rajon Rondo’s decision to step away from Team USA.

Rondo hadn’t recovered from the Boston Celtics’ crushing seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. He was drained and needed rest.

The emerging table-setter understands the championship window is closing on the green-and-white. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce – also known as The Big Three - are hitting the end of their careers.

Rondo knows he needs to be at full strength in 2011 and 2012 because opportunities to win championships are rare. Playing in the World Championship would be tiring.

Fortunately, Stars and Stripes had talented floor leaders in Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. His departure wasn’t an issue and, in fact, eased the log-jam at point guard. 

Rondo’s choice may be a win-win for all involved.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Sep , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Jennings on Team USA snub: It’s gotta be the shoes

It's not my call. That's on them," Jennings said. "But if you want to get technical about it and you really want to look at it, half of the guys there are Nike guys. I'm not saying it's a Nike thing, but Nike is kind of running a lot of things right now. To have a guy like myself on the USA team that's flashy and really outgoing, you don't want Under Armour to get all that [publicity]. "I'm just telling you how it is." 

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote Brooklyn legend Mars Blackmon: ‘It’s got to be the shoes’.

At least, this is the reason second year guard Brandon Jennings believes Team USA didn’t invite him to try out for the World Championship squad. Stars and Stripes were sponsored by Nike. Jennings is sponsored by Under Armour.

Jennings sees a connection. The Swoosh supposedly concocted a grand conspiracy of Oliver Stone proportion to keep Jennings – a pretty good, but hardly great table-setter - off the squad.

There’s a simpler and better answer: Jennings isn’t as good as he thinks.

Team USA had other options. Better options. For instance, the coaching staff selected Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose at point guard. Both are more advanced than Jennings. Neither wears Nike.

Off the bench, the Americans had Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, and Russell Westbrook. Curry makes Team USA because they needed outside shooting. Gordon surprised the coaching staff. And Westbrook’s energy and athleticism was irreplaceable.

Frankly, the 2010 American team won gold at the World Championship because everybody parked their egos at the door. Nobody bitched. Nobody moaned.

Would the coaches want someone who describes himself as flashy and outgoing, and believes a multinational shoe company is out to get him? Or, would they want a player who puts the team first?

There’s an easy answer. And it makes more sense than Mars Blackmon.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Sep , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chauncey Billups: ‘I want to be trying to win a championship’

“For the rest of the time that I’m playing, I want to be playing for something,” Billups said. “I want to be trying to win a championship. I’m not the kind of guy who is just going to ride his career out, say, ‘I’ll play as long as I can and whatever happens, happens.’ No, that’s not me. I want to play for something. I want to play for the whole thing.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to the Denver Nuggets. If you trade Carmelo Anthony, you’d better trade Chauncey Billups, too.

For the last few weeks, the Internet has been buzzing with speculation the Nuggets will deal ‘Melo and rebuild. And the thinking was Billups – the good soldier and hometown boy – would stick around to mentor the youngsters.

Think again.

Billups, even at 34, has plenty in the odometer. Remember, he never got regular minutes during his first five seasons in the NBA. And the veteran table-setter was traded several times before settling with the Detroit Pistons.

So Billups, while he still can, wants to compete for championships. Starting over isn’t an option.      

Trading Anthony will only be the start for the Nuggets. They’ll likely have to move Billups – their heart and soul – too.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chauncey Billups: ‘I want Melo to be a Nugget’

Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups plans to help recruit Carmelo Anthony to stay with the team after he leaves Turkey, where he's currently playing for the United States at the World Championships.

"Everybody knows that ‘I want Melo to be a Nugget’, and I would love for me to be a Nugget for the rest of my career and finish with him," Billups said Saturday.
"When I get back (from Turkey), I'm going to try to get back into the situation and hopefully keep Melo back in Denver."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chauncey Billups will do his best to sell Carmelo Anthony on re-signing with the Denver Nuggets.

He’ll remind his teammate they made the Western Conference Finals in 2009. He’ll remind his teammate the bones of the 2009 team are in tact and only need to get healthy. And he’ll remind his teammate he can make the most money re-upping with Denver.

Billups, a top table-setter, can be convincing.

However, the former Finals MVP will have no answer, comeback, or retort when Anthony raises a few issues.

On and off court, the Nuggets are in transition. A new member of the Kroenke family is overseeing the team. Masai Ujiri was just hired to run the basketball operations. And Coach George Karl is battling health issues.  

Billups can still play, but is near the end of his run as an elite player. J.R. Smith is in the midst of another scandal. Chris Anderson and Nene aren’t healthy. Ty Lawson aside, there isn’t a talented youngster on the roster.

Of course, Anthony and his wife are from Brooklyn, New York. And both seem to crave the spotlight that goes with living in a major market.

So Billups’ sell job will likely be for not. Anthony, one way or another, isn’t staying in Denver.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Clippers and Nets leading Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes?

According to one report, the Nets are not willing to include Brook Lopez in an attempt to trade for Carmelo Anthony. But New Jersey's offer of Devin Harris, Derek Favors and draft picks may still give the Nuggets the best pieces in return for Anthony.

The Nuggets have had discussions with the Bulls that center around Luol Deng and Taj Gibson. The Warriors may offer Stephen Curry, Andris Biedrins and draft picks but are not sure that they will make Curry available. The Clippers are called a long shot with Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon the likely two targets whom Denver would look to acquire.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Going, going, not quite gone.

Reports indicate the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Jersey Nets have made offers to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony.

Consider all the proposals: the Bulls are dangling Luol Deng and Taj Gibson; the Clippers have made Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman available; the Nets are willing to part with Derrick Favors and Devin Harris; and the Warriors are assembling a package around Andris Biedrins.
 
Two teams stand out: the Los Angeles Clippers and New Jersey Nets.
 
The Nuggets have to be intrigued by the Clips’ offer. Gordon would solve a hole at the two-spot, while Kaman would provide a much-needed seven-footer down low.

The Nets’ offer is also interesting. Favors is a spectacular blue-chip talent; Harris can play next to Chauncey Billups, learn the tricks of the trade from the veteran, and eventually replace him at the one-spot.

Also, Anthony would likely consider signing an extension with both the Clippers and Nets. Los Angeles is a major market. And New Jersey will soon be a major market when they cross the river to Brooklyn in a few years.

So expect the Clippers and Nets to be in play –if the Nuggets finally trade Anthony. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Anthony’s ‘heart’ says Denver, head says Houston?

Another league source said Anthony, "in his heart," would like to stay in Denver but has lost faith in the team's direction.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
This is just the latest evidence superstar Carmelo Anthony will leave the Denver Nuggets. One way or another, he’s gone.

After seven years in Denver he’s developed emotional ties to the city, organization, and state, but the future is bleak.

For instance: point guard Chauncey Billups, while still effective, is aging; Coach George Karl’s future is uncertain due to his battle with cancer; Ty Lawson aside, there’s a lack of young talent; and there’s not even an executive to right this sinking ship because Phoenix's David Griffin turned down the GM job.

While Anthony’s heart is saying Denver, his head is saying Houston.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Parting ways best for Rajon Rondo and Team USA

The Celtics point guard withdrew from Team USA yesterday, sensing the writing on the wall as coach Mike Krzyzewski began to test different backcourt combinations minus Rondo.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did he withdraw? Or, did he get cut?

These are the questions surrounding Rajon Rondo’s departure from Team USA on Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday’s news may have been sudden, but it wasn't surprising.

Rondo swallowed his first career DNP-CD (Did Not Play-Coaches Decision) against Spain. While his poor outside range and inconsistent free-throw shooting were rarely exposed with the Boston Celtics, it would have been a liability in international play.

Clearly, Rondo didn’t fit Coach Mike Krzyewski’s plans, so parting ways made sense.        

After losing the championship in heartbreaking fashion to the Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo needed time off to heal his mind and body. A death in his extended family wouldn’t have helped, either.

Team USA is also point guard heavy, with table-setters Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. All are better shooters than Rondo.  Even if he made the final roster, there would have been few minutes available.

Bottom line: whether he withdrew or got cut, Rondo and stars-and-stripes are better off after yesterday’s decision.

--Oly Sandor.   

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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Do the Denver Nuggets have to trade Carmelo Anthony?

If the Rockets or Nets can present an offer that is agreeable to the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony is open to being traded to, and signing a long-term extension with, one of these two clubs. The story was reported by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, citing multiple league sources familiar with the situation.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: If Carmelo Anthony wanted to stay with the Denver Nuggets, he would've taken their three-year, $65 million contract offer.

This thing would've been signed, sealed, and delivered long ago. There's no deal and the speculation is hitting fever pitch.

After all, reports indicate Anthony has zero intention of re-upping with Denver. Instead, he wants to opt-out of his contract next July, hit free agency, and pick his new home.

So the Nuggets have two options. First, they can ignore the headlines, hope the seemingly inevitable doesn't occur, and pray that Anthony re-signs.

This is unlikely, and will result in Anthony's pending free agency becoming such a distraction the season will be compromised. Then he'll leave.

Second, they can accept the inevitable and trade him for a new cast of players to surround star point guard Chauncey Billups. The list of suitors for Anthony reportedly includes the Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, and Orlando Magic.

The Nuggets should be able to find a deal to their liking. In fact, it seems they don't have much choice.

--Oly Sandor.

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