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Thursday , Jan , 26 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

‘Melo who? Nuggets extend Gallinari to 4-year, $42.5 million pact

The deal is done — Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari has agreed to a four-year contract extension. The 23-year-old small forward will make close to $42 million in that four year span, a league source told The Denver Post.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, think the Denver Nuggets are glad they pulled the trigger on the Carmelo Anthony trade?

There’s no more shot happy small forward. There are no more off-court ‘Melo dramas. And their future is known.

Today, the Nuggets inked Danilo Gallinari to a four-year pact for a very reasonable $42.5 million, and continued building a team with balance and depth.

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

 

 

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Carmelo the problem in New York?

Carmelo very reflective tonight. Wondered aloud if he's shooting too much, or should pass more and whether he's to blame for losses.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has yet to make those around him better.

For all his offensive gifts, Carmelo Anthony lacks the one skill that truly defines greatness: he does not raise the play of teammates.

In fact, he never has.

Anthony struggled to find his game on-and-off court after a banner rookie year with the Denver Nuggets. Then he failed to mesh with Allen Iverson. Only with leader and Finals MVP Chauncey Billups did ‘Anthony’s Nuggets’ compete.

Last year was a write-off. Anthony made no secret of his desire for a trade to the big-market New York Knicks. Both teams were in a holding pattern for months, dealing with 24-7 trade rumors.

When those rumors became reality, the results surprised. The Nuggets, with balance and team-first play, impressed, while the superstar-laden Knicks disappointed.

And Anthony must take the blame. He’s in his much-desired glamour market, and has yet to deliver results.

He shoots too much. He won’t include others. Worst of all, his presence has turned Amar’e Stoudemire, a $100 million free agent signing in 2010, into a blue-collar post.

Something must give. Nine years into his career, the question is whether Anthony can change and embrace the bigger picture?

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Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

George Karl: you can win without a superstar

It has nothing to do about individuality and basically screw all the guys out there that think you gotta have a superstar to win a championship. I’m just not into the hype. I’m into some of the things we did when we went 18-7 and I can take anyone who wants to come into our film [room].

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounds good, but isn’t accurate.

Veteran coach George Karl is trying to appease Nugget fans and the Denver marketplace by declaring a superstar isn’t necessary to win a championship.

Not surprisingly, Karl's Nuggets don't have a top-tier player. He’s wrong, though. A superstar is necessary.

Sure, Karl will mention the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but it was a different time when superstars weren’t concentrated in a few major markets.

To beat a trio of superstars, you must have superstar(s). For instance, the Dallas Mavericks beat CB4, LeBron, D-Wade and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals with All-World Dirk Nowitzki and an exceptional supporting cast.

So Karl’s statement sounds good, but isn’t reality.

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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Nene turns down Heat, Nets; signs $70 million extension with Nuggets

The Nuggets and Nene have reached agreement on a five-year contract that will pay him up to $67 million.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the end, it was about the money.

Free agent post Nene won’t join a capped-out contender and will instead earn nearly $70 million over the next five years to stay with the Denver Nuggets.

On the one hand, this makes sense. This was Nene’s moment, his one opportunity to capitalize on a weak free agent market and get max-like money even if the league was coming off a lockout.

Only Denver and the New Jersey Nets were willing to meet his demands. And the Nets are in flux because Deron Williams still hasn’t inked an extension.

So Nene, who loves Denver, decided to spend his prime with the Nuggets.

On the other hand, this is surprising. The 30-year old decided against giving the Miami Heat and other elite squads a discount for the chance at a championship.

Of course, it’s hard to say just how much of a South Beach sale the Heat were asking for. And Nene could sign a short-term deal with a contender once this deal expires in June of 2016. 

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

 

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Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Nene for Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem?

Nene, 29, has long coveted Miami and Dallas as landing spots, but would have to force his way to one of those teams via a sign-and-trade since both are well over the cap. And whereas LeBron James was able to get a max deal through a sign-and-trade when he went from Cleveland to Miami, Nene would have to settle for a four-year deal with 4.5 percent raises under the new system in such an arrangement.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he take a reduced salary to compete for a championship?

Today, the world wide web is filled with articles on the Miami Heat somehow adding Nene, the top free agent of 2011, to a roster already loaded with big-tickets.

Reports suggest that Pat Riley, the oil-slick GM, will offer Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller to the Denver Nuggets in a sign-and-trade for the Brazilian post.

Keep in mind the Heat and Nene would already have agreed on a multi-year extension as part of the deal.

In theory, this sounds good. In reality, it’s a long-shot because Nene seems determined to hit a homerun on the open market and won’t give ‘Riles’ a South Beach discount.

Unless we’ve got it wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time) and winning is his priority. Then Nene will take less for a chance at hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

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Sunday , Nov , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony: I’m Proud of ‘Melo Rule

Through the Melo Rule, the owners want to limit how much control a player has on where he plays. Players, meanwhile, want the freedom to go where they please. And the player who inspired the rule found it amusing that it could become a part of his legacy. ``I’m just glad I can be part of something,” Anthony said last month. “When I’m dead and gone, the Melo Rule will still be here. I’m just excited that they named a rule after me.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony’s reaction reveals much about modern stars.

Instead of wanting to create a legacy on-court through winning, many want to create a legacy off-court through business.

This is sad.

For instance, the Denver Nuggets gave Anthony everything. They rolled out the red carpet, supported him during his off-court indiscretions, and paid him like a tier-one superstar.

The returns were mixed. At times, Anthony, was out of shape, feuded with Coach George Karl, and was consumed with scoring.

Bottom line: the Nuggets weren’t a contender until they brought in Chauncey Billups, who provided the leadership that was expected from Anthony.

Then came last year. Perhaps inspired by LeBron James’ Decision, Anthony held the Nuggets hostage for months by refusing to sign an extension and flirting with teams in the New York area.

The rumours were too much. It was 24-7. And a major distraction for the Nuggets, New York Knicks, and New Jersey Nets.

After several near-deals, Anthony got his wish and was finally traded to the Knicks. The process was ugly and again showed the polarization between have and have-not markets.

It also showed that high profile players can and will hold several teams hostage for months in an effort to get their way.

Rather than calling the process an unfortunate but necessary part of business, Anthony is proud. He doesn’t realize that his actions have created a sticking point in negotiations between players and owners, which, in turn, has delayed the 2012 season.

Compare Anthony to another ‘Legend’. Larry Bird, the Hall of Fame forward, was never proud of the ‘Larry Bird Rule’ in the old Collective Bargaining Agreements. He was too busy winning.

Perhaps Anthony should learn something from Bird. Perhaps he should focus on what matters -winning.  

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Tuesday , Sep , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in Nene?

The Miami Herald reported Sunday that they expect one of the first calls the Heat make to be to free agent PF/C Nene.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ll call. They’ll talk. That’s as far it will go, though.

Despite having little cap space, the Miami Heat reportedly have interest in signing Denver Nuggets post and soon-to-be-free agent Nene.

Having interest is fine. Getting a sought after center to take a huge pay cut is unrealistic.

The Brazilian opted-out of the last year of his contract with Denver, leaving close to $11 million on the table. Whenever the lockout is settled, he’ll ask for, and likely get, term and money as a free agent.

The Heat are in no position to offer either. With $65 million in committed salary for 2012, they`ll have little-to-no flexibility when the owners get their new financial system.

So the Heat will call Nene. He may listen and consider taking less money to play with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Then he’ll remember what he gave up ($11 million) and will sign a big ticket pact with another team.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kenyon Martin leaving Denver?

And the next Nuggets longtimer who could hit the road? Kenyon Martin, whose excellent Greenwood Village estate is under contract. Check out photos and a video below.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It could be a real estate transaction. Or it could be a sign Kenyon Martin is leaving the Denver Nuggets.

Reports indicate Martin has put his palatial Denver estate up for sale, as the power forward and former first overall pick plans to head elsewhere as a free agent when the lockout ends.

Change is surely coming. While a solid performer, Martin struggled with injury and never met the expectations that came with signing a max contract so many years ago.

The Nuggets are also in transition after the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster. Whatever cap space the new system provides will be used to re-sign Nene and, perhaps, negotiate long-term extensions for Wilson Chandler and/or Danilo Gallinari.

If Martin figured into the Nuggets' long-term plans they'd have tendered some type of offer before the lockout began on July 1st.

So Martin’s selling his house. And he’ll be selling his rebounding, defense, and energy when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed.

Chances are, it won’t be in Denver with the Nuggets.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard?

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes have begun. Golden State offered Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh. Unlikely that'll get it done.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic can deny rumors they’re considering swapping Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard. The evidence suggests otherwise, though.

New Warriors owner Joe Lacob, when he bought the club, didn’t give Ellis a ringing endorsement. While GM Larry Riley would only admit the team isn’t shopping their combo guard.

Lacob and rookie coach Mark Jackson want to change the losing culture surrounding the club. Right or wrong, fair or not, they may trade Ellis to achieve this.

Meanwhile, Howard has refused to sign an extension with the Magic. He wants to exercise a player’s option next July and become a free agent.

Howard knows Magic GM Otis Smith can’t let this occur. Not for a second. Smith, contrary to what he publicly claims, can’t risk his franchise face walking and getting nothing back.

So the clock is ticking. Like the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz with Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, Smith has to cut a deal.  

It’s no shock the Warriors and Magic have talked trade. Here’s the real question: what happens next?

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Apr , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

J.R. Smith on staying in Denver: ‘It’s just maybe not my fit’

Nuggets guard J.R. Smith said there's a "strong possibility" he won't sign with the Nuggets this summer as a free agent, expressing frustration Thursday after the Nuggets went down 0-2 against Oklahoma City in the playoffs. "There's a strong possibility as of right now," Smith said. "It's not going the way I planned it to go. It's a tough situation. I want to be here, I love the fans and everything about the city. It's just maybe not my fit."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not now. Not during the playoffs.

Players should put aside their personal agendas during the playoffs. Minutes and shots shouldn't matter. It’s do-or-die. Win or go home.
 
J.R. Smith missed the memo. The e-mail missed his in-box and went to junk. Either that or his timing stinks.
 
Talking about your contract during the playoffs is poor form. Smith, a free agent at season’s end, is right to suggest there’s little chance he’ll re-sign with the Denver Nuggets.
 
There’s too much water under the bridge between him and the team. After all, Smith and sideline boss George Karl went years without talking, communicating through an assistant coach.
 
If Smith was asked about his future by reporters, he should’ve reverted to the athletes’ handbook of clichés. ‘I’m just taking it one game at a time’ or ‘I haven’t thought about it’ would've fit perfectly.
 
Instead he created a distraction at the worst possible time. What little chance he had of staying in Denver has likely vanished.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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The Greatest NBA Playoff Upset Ever
Wednesday , Apr , 06 , 2011 Paul Eide

The Greatest NBA Playoff Upset Ever

 

The year was 1994. Charles Barkley signature “Air Max” shoes, selling for $150 a pair, were king. The world was shocked by the unexpected death of Kurt Cobain. And Seattle Supersonics fans the world over were reeling from a first round playoff loss to the eighth seed Denver Nuggets.
 
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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard for Anthony or Stoudemire?

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did you enjoy Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire battling Dwight Howard last night?

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the main characters in yesterday’s epic battle between the Knicks and Magic could switch places. Reports indicate the Magic would consider sending Howard to the Knicks for Anthony or Stoudemire.

A few thoughts:

1) The Howard rumors will continue to fly because he can opt-out of his contract at the end of 2012 and become an unrestricted free agent.

No matter how much Howard tries to defuse rumors, the feeling is he wants to bolt Orlando for a larger market. Like Los Angeles. Or New York.

The Magic have a dilemma. They could try re-signing Howard and risk having their top player as an unrestricted free agent without compensation.

(This would decimate the franchise. See the Cleveland Cavaliers. See the Toronto Raptors.)  

Or the Magic could concede that re-signing Howard would be tough in today’s era of super-teams and move him. Cutting their losses would bring back some assets.

(See the Denver Nuggets. See the Utah Jazz.)   

2) Anthony and Stoudemire are an awkward pairing. Their partnership doesn’t seem natural. Given time, things will improve. The supporting cast will be upgraded; a training camp together will make a difference.

Here’s the question for Knick fans: would Howard with Anthony or Stoudemire be superior to Anthony and Stoudemire?

3) The new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be negotiated between players and owners this summer could sideswipe all plans.

Small market owners may try to eliminate the super-team trend that’s permeating the NBA. They could gain the ability to keep star players by using an NFL-style franchise tag.

So the Magic could hang onto Howard –whether he likes it or not- by slapping him with the franchise player tag.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Nuggets vs. Knicks; Post Carmelo Trade Who Is “Winning”?
Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Paul Eide

Nuggets vs. Knicks; Post Carmelo Trade Who Is “Winning”?

 

Charlie Sheen will always be “Winning” depending on whose opinion you value, but the Knicks and Nuggets success or lack thereof can easily be gauged by glancing at wins and losses.
 
We’ve been hearing about it for weeks since the trade went down. But detached from any emotional response and based on cold, heartless raw data who really got the better of this deal?
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Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron empathizing with Melo, Knicks is a problem

For LeBron James, the signs are all familiar. The initial discomfort in a new system. The frustrating losses. The growing pains. The private bickering, questioning and second-guessing. The attitude issues. Even the turbulence during particularly heated timeouts. James knows that script all too well. He's lived it during the honeymoon period with the Miami Heat, the one that sent the team into a brief stretch of disarray following a difficult 9-8 start.

"I know exactly what he's going through right now," James said of his friend Carmelo Anthony's more-difficult-than-expected indoctrination with the Knicks. "And it's going to take time. Everybody knows we were 9-8. We had to figure things out. And we're still figuring things out.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James can relate to Carmelo Anthony’s recent struggles with the New York Knicks.

Like Anthony, James left his old team in less than perfect fashion. Like Anthony, James predicted greatness for his new team before playing a single game. And like Anthony, James experienced a backlash when things didn’t instantly go to plan.

King James feels ‘Melo’s pain. He relates to the hardship, the expectations, and the criticism. He knows the trials and tribulations of an NBA superstar.

What nonsense James speaks.

It’s hard to knock James and/or Anthony for using the system to play for the team they like. They both gave seven years to the team that drafted them. If they want to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets, fair enough.

It’s, however, easy to knock James and/or Anthony for how they left the Cavaliers and/or Nuggets.  We won’t, though. This is old news. What’s done is done.

Here’s the point: James and Anthony got exactly what the wanted. James joined pals Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in South Beach, while Anthony returned home to The Big Apple.

And both received big money from their new team; James inked a $100 million max deal, Anthony signed a three-year, $65 million extension.

They’re playing for the team of their choice. They’re also playing in the cities of their choice. Key word: choice.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for superstars who get everything they ask for, and feel frustrated when things aren’t instantly a bed of roses.

Perhaps this is what separates the greats like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan from the very good like James and Anthony. The greats don’t expect, want, or need sympathy.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kenyon Martin: Nuggets don`t miss Carmelo Anthony

"We all know Melo is a great player, but I don't think one player has ever won a championship in this league," Kenyon Martin told HOOPSWORLD. "He's a great player, but it's all about us playing together right now. That's what we're trying to do."

"We're just going out and playing basketball," he continued. "Everyone here knows how to play and we're competing every single night. When you compete, you put yourself in position to win. It's just playing basketball. Once you know how to play this game the right way, you can really fit into any system."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kenyon Martin is saying what everyone is thinking.

The Denver Nuggets won’t miss Carmelo Anthony. Not now. And not going forward.

Despite the trend towards super teams, basketball is still a sport where chemistry can trump talent. Playing together and playing for each other can go a long, long way to ensuring success –even in the pros.

This is what the Nuggets are doing. They’re defending. They’re moving the ball. And guess what? They’re winning, posting a 10-4 record since trading their former franchise face to the New York Knicks.

Best of all, there’s a sense of together-ness. Nugget players and coaches aren’t dealing with twenty-four hour gossip and trade rumours. Raymond Felton aside, everybody on the roster wants to be in Denver.

Clearly, the Nuggets are having fun. Like the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference, there’s a collectiveness and positive vibe surrounding The Mile High City.

This along with their defense and unselfishness will make the Nuggets a dangerous first round playoff opponent for San Antonio, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Oklahoma City.

Did the Nuggets ever look dangerous with Anthony this year?

Give Martin credit for speaking up. And give Martin credit for speaking the truth.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Mar , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Carmelo Anthony the problem in New York?

Nevertheless Anthony's pouty behavior in Friday night's 99-95 loss to the Pistons, his bad oncourt body language, his failure to join a timeout huddle when not in the game has raised red flags about his readiness to handle the pressure for being a basketball star in New York.

The honeymoon is officially over. Anthony, coming off an historically awful 6-point, 2-of-12 outing in the terrible loss, will resume talking and playing today when the Knicks face the Bucks at Bradley Center, with the club having fallen into seventh place.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony wanted and got New York. Now he must deal with the good and bad that comes with being the high profile star of the Knicks.

At a minimum, this means facing the music and answering reporters’ questions when he has a poor shooting night and doesn’t get the call on a potential game winning basket against the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Slinking out the back door is unacceptable, especially after signing a three-year, $65 million extension.

Worst of all, Anthony can’t use the excuse of avoiding a fine. He’s a professional. And as such, he must exercise appropriate discretion when dealing with reporters.

And who cares if he does incur a fine? Anthony can easily afford it. 

Anthony’s behaviour with teammates is also worrying. Too often, his body language leaves much to be desired. Too often, he appears to blame others instead of leading.

For instance, against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, he reportedly lectured youngster Toney Douglas and ignored giving good guy Ronny Turiaf a high five.

Remember, Anthony held both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks hostage for months with his trade demands. Players on both teams put up with endless rumors and gossip.

Perhaps, his new teammates have a right to be frustrated with him. Not the other way around. So Anthony can at least try to be pleasant and fit in.

A team first approach would also help the Knicks become consistent, and start beating up on the league’s also-rans (since acquiring Anthony, the Knicks have lost six times to teams with losing records).

Bottom line: the Knicks success starts and ends with Anthony. The sooner he accepts this and starts being accountable, the better. 

--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.”

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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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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."

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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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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.

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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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