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Sunday , Sep , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe’s advice for Carmelo: be 100% happy with choice

"We’ll see if he signs a reasonable extension and if he’s 100 percent happy that it’s where he wants to go," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Saturday. "If not, don’t make a move just to get out of the situation. ... Make sure it’s a move that you’re very happy in and you’re comfortable with."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Black Mamba has spoken.

Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s greatest player and resident OG, recently advised Carmelo Anthony on his situation with the Denver Nuggets.

Bryant's opinion makes sense: too often, players hastily swap one bad situation for another. Instead of weighing their options, they force trades, and aren't better off.

Wherever Anthony lands, it must be right. He has to win. Big time.

While this situation isn’t The Decision Part Deux, it has cast the superstar forward in an unsavoury light. Many fans are sick of the hourly updates, constant speculation, and comments from Mrs. Anthony.

So Bryant’s point is a good one: whether Anthony ends up with the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets, he has to be sure.

If he’s unsure, why bother?

Anthony would soon find himself in the same predicament a few years from now. He’d be losing, He'd be miserable. And he'd be searching for an exit strategy.

Perhaps Anthony is spending the weekend reflecting on Bryant’s words. And perhaps this explains his reservations about joining the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Anthony, Nuggets, Bobcats putting brakes on trade with Nets?

The price that the Nets would pay for Anthony in what would be a multi-team trade would be steep.

Yahoo said the Nuggets wanted power forward Derrick Favours, the No. 3 pick overall in the draft, and a protected 2012 first-round pick the Nets received from Golden State.

The Utah Jazz and Charlotte Bobcats also would be involved in the trade and Yahoo reported that the Bobcats would get all-star point guard Devin Harris from the Nets.

Charlotte would send forward Boris Diaw to the Jazz, who would send forward Andrei Kirilenko to the Nuggets. The Nets would also get point guard D.J. Augustin from the Bobcats.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The prodigal son may or may not return to his place of birth.

Word is the Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets trade rumor has hit a snag. Such is life when dealing with a diva/superstar and a four-team blockbuster that’s more complicated than those derivative mortgages that ushered in the global recession.

Here are a few of the issues:

•    Anthony, who can become an unrestricted free agent in July, has yet to agree to a multi-year extension with the Nets. No extension. No deal.

•    Anthony also isn’t sold on the Nets. He’s desperate to play with superstar pal Chris Paul, who hits free agency in 2012.

•    The Denver Nuggets aren’t ready to cut ties with Anthony, their ling-time franchise face. Although there’s been little movement on an extension, the Nuggets may want another shot at convincing the forward to stay.

•    The Charlotte Bobcats are having second thoughts on including young point guard D.J. Augustine. Right now, the NBA is stacked with point guards, but Augustine could still develop.

Make no mistake about it, this hinges on Anthony. If he wants to be a Net, the deal happens. All involved will acommodate.

Like the Nuggets’ offence, the ball is in Melo's hands. Everyone is watching to see what he'll do.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Sep , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Avery Johnson: Nets won’t include Favors in deal for Anthony

The Nets are not offering Derrick Favors in a package for Carmelo Anthony, at least according to Avery Johnson.

"One of the agreements we made was, 'If you don't hear me say anything about you then it's not accurate,'" Johnson said, before discrediting an ESPN report stating the Nets were offering Favors in a package for Anthony."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not happening.

The New Jersey Nets are not trading Derrick Favors to the Denver Nuggets for embattled superstar Carmelo Anthony. The Nets love Favors’ upside, believing he could become an all-time great.

This development limits the soon-to-be Brooklyn squad’s ability to land Anthony. Remember, star big Brook Lopez is off the table. So the Nets have little to offer.

After all, Denver wants a young, blue-chip piece as part of any deal for Anthony. No Favors. No Lopez. No Anthony in New Jersey.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Sep , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rockets offering Kevin Martin to Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony

A team executive tells The New York Times that the Houston Rockets are aggressively pursuing Carmelo Anthony with an offer centered around Kevin Martin and at least one of the draft picks acquired in a trade with the New York Knicks last season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Finally, the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes are getting interesting.

The Houston Rockets recently offered Kevin Martin to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Anthony. Martin is young, talented, and capable. A year ago, he was the face of the rebuilding Sacramento Kings.

The Nuggets have a choice: do they take the Rockets’ offer and cut ties with Anthony or hold out for more compensation?

Chances are, they’ll wait. First year executive Masai Ujiri bought the organization time by initially refusing to move Anthony. He won’t cave now. A deal will likely come right before training camp or during the season.

Something has to happen before the trade deadline. The Nuggets can’t let Anthony hit free agency because the club gets nothing back when he signs elsewhere.

So the offers for Anthony are heating up. The Nuggets will still take their time, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Sep , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets finally realize they must trade Anthony?

The Nuggets are losing their reluctance to trade Carmelo Anthony, according to sources familiar with the thinking of the front office.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Denver Nuggets have come to their senses. They must cut their losses and trade Carmelo Anthony.

It’s inevitable. They have no other choice.

Anthony won’t sign an extension with Denver. If he doesn’t get a trade, he’ll opt-out of his contract next July, and leave as an unrestricted free agent.

The Nuggets would then suffer the same miserable fate as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, who may never recover from LeBron James and Chris Bosh signing with the Miami Heat.

Getting something is better than nothing. If the Nuggets can’t have Anthony, they might as well get back a combination of draft picks, young players, and expiring contracts.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Sep , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

La La Vasquez on ‘Melo’s future: ‘let’s just see how this plays out’

"I still live there," she said. "There’s so much speculation out there. We did (the) George Lopez (Show) two days ago, and Melo made it clear: He’s still a Denver Nugget. So no matter what you might hear or speculate, he is a Denver Nugget. He’s been committed to that team and that city for seven years now. You’ve got to cut him a little bit of slack. He hasn’t made a move yet.

"As of now, the plans are to report back to Denver for training camp. So let’s just see how this plays out."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: La La Vasquez is right. Her husband’s situation with the Denver Nuggets has become comical.

For months, the press, fans, players, and GMs have speculated on where Carmelo Anthony will get traded. It’s a hot topic because the star forward can opt-out of his contract next July and become an unrestricted free agent.

The speculation is endless. One day, Anthony is getting dealt to the New York Knicks. The next day, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and/or New Jersey Nets are the frontrunners.

The Knicks and Nets do have two distinct advantages over the competition. 

Vasquez, a former MTV host, hails from Brooklyn. Although unlikely to admit it, she’d prefer her husband ends up in the greater New York area, so she can continue her entertainment career and be near family.

This may be what pushes Anthony aways from Denver.

--O. Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Would Carmelo Anthony’s talent wreck Chicago Bulls’ chemistry?

The Chicago Bulls are interested in trading for the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, a league source told ESPNChicago.com on Thursday.

And while the source said that the team is holding internal discussions as to whether the Bulls would allow Joakim Noah to be part of any deal, Chicago has not reached a consensus. Another source close to the situation told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell that Noah would not be part of an Anthony deal.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chemistry trumps talent.

The Chicago Bulls should remember this theory when pursuing disgruntled Denver Nuggets’ star Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony is talented. He’s a natural scorer, capable of dropping 25 points on opposing defences while barely breaking a sweat. And his panache, and style is marketable.

Adding a dominant player and personality like Anthony is also a risk. His need for touches and shots changes the chemistry and dynamics of any team he suits up for.

For instance, the Nuggets may hold out for Joakim Noah as compensation for Anthony. Losing Noah, their defensive anchor and gritty post, would change the Bulls’ identity.

Then there’s Carlos Boozer. Anthony’s score-first approach would impact Boozer, the club’s free agent signing this summer. Boozer is no longer a blue-collar big –like when he suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Like Anthony, he needs touches and shots.

Of course, the Bulls are Derrick Rose’s team. He’s the franchise face and first option. Initially, Anthony would have to defer to the third year point guard.

Is this something he would do? Is this something he can do?

Anthony has always been The Man. He might be reluctant to play second fiddle –even if it meant a long-term extension, playing in a major market, and suiting up for a competitive team.

So the Bulls are interested in Anthony’s talent. Fair enough. They should consider if he`s worth altering, or compromising, their chemistry.

--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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Thursday , Sep , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Anthony prefers Knicks and Bulls?

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Carmelo Anthony would still like to depart Denver before the season begins.A source with knowledge of Anthony's plans told Yahoo! Sports that his preferred destinations are Chicago and New York. The Bulls' offer would need to include Luol Deng who could be packaged along with James Johnson and Taj Gibson. Chicago also has draft picks to offer the Nuggets.The Knicks' offer would center around Danilo Gallinari and Eddy Curry.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No trade will happen before the season if the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks continue lowballing the Denver Nuggets.

After all, Carmelo Anthony is The Man in The Mile High City. He’s a star who commands the national spotlight. So the Nuggets can’t accept the Bulls or Knicks’ paltry offer.

Neither is sufficient; both are laughable.

The Nuggets want a combination of expiring contracts, draft picks, and blue-chip talent for Anthony. The Knicks would have to up the ante by including Anthony Randolph, while the Bulls’ offer falls well short.

Of course, there’s no motivation to offer fair value.

The Nuggets will likely have to deal Anthony. He can opt-out of his contract at season’s end, become an unrestricted free agent, and sign with the team of his choosing.

The Nuggets would get nothing in return, which means they may eventually have to cut a deal.

The key word is eventually. Right now, they have time. With what the Bulls and Knicks are offering, Anthony will wait for his trade.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Sep , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Linas Kleiza: ‘I want to go back to Toronto and prove myself’

"I just felt it was a good move by me to improve my career and improve as a player," Kleiza said of the year overseas. "I had a big role on a very big team, a very good team. That kind of helped improve all my skills and allow me to show what I wasn't able to do in Denver.

"In Denver I was a role player and I did it pretty good," he said. "But coming back here and showing I could do a lot more things I'm not just that player that I was in Denver. That's why I want to go back to Toronto and prove myself all over again. Show people that I was a better player than I was in Denver."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Linas Kleiza can’t be worse than Hedo Turkoglu.

In July of 2009, the Toronto Raptors inked Turkoglu to a five-year, $53 million pact. The Canadian Dinosaurs were expecting a banner year from the Turkish swing.

What they got was something different: Turkoglu arrived at training camp out of shape; never bothered getting in shape; underperformed all year; behaved unprofessionally; and finally requested a trade this off-season.

Thankfully, GM Bryan Colangelo accommodated his request, shipping him to Phoenix for combo guard Leandro Barbosa. 

Kleiza won’t have the same sense of entitlement. After a year in Greece, he’ll be hungry for regular minutes and will give a full effort when on-court.

Unfortunately for Kleiza, the Raptors are loaded at the swing spots. So he’ll compete with Barbosa, DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, and Julian Wright for playing time at the two and three spots.

However, Kleiza has starred for Lithuania at the FIBA World Championship. For instance, he had 30 points and 9 rebounds in a Sweet 16 win against China.

And if Kleiza keeps having those kind of nights, minutes won’t be an issue in Toronto.

--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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Is Carmelo Anthony worth the trouble?
Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 J.N.

Is Carmelo Anthony worth the trouble?

Denver, what are you doing? Why is he still on the team? Trade him already. He’s still there? Look. I understand that people are trying to team up with others to win. That is fine. Whatever. The people of Denver should not have to put up with a whiny person putting bounties on porn stars via Twitter on someone like Kat Stacks. That is not a class act. Then he goes around and says that his Twitter was hacked. Come on, man! Stop playing!

Read More
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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Denver ‘refuses’ to trade Carmelo Anthony

The Nuggets haven't yet placed All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony on the trade block. ESPN.com's Marc Stein is reporting that Denver is not close to trading Anthony.

"That status could certainly change before NBA teams open training camps later this month, should [general manager Masai] Ujiri prove unsuccessful in his forthcoming attempt(s) to convince Anthony to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension that the Nuggets, right around the June draft, believed Melo was on the verge of accepting," Stein wrote.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s strategic denial.

The Denver Nuggets are attempting to regain leverage over the Carmelo Anthony situation by ‘refusing’ all trade offers. The Nuggets are telling potential suitors they aren’t moving Anthony.

This is smart. The Anthony situation was out of control. The gossip mongers were having a field day. With so much speculation, the club couldn’t get anything near equal value in a trade.

Make no mistake about it, Anthony will be traded. Not today. Not tomorrow. But something will happen before February’s trade deadline.

It has to.

Anthony can, and apparently will, opt-out of his contract next summer and become a free agent. He’s prepared to leave, pick a new team, and the Nuggets will get nothing for their best player.

Rookie Denver GM Masai Ujiri can’t take this risk and will move Anthony before February’s deadline. However, he also can’t wrap his franchise face in a bow and give him away this summer like opposing GMs are hoping.

Today’s denials are about gaining leverage and time, so the Nuggets can eventually cut the best deal possible for Anthony. Sounds like denial is a sound strategy.

--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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Monday , Aug , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Nuggets Executive: Carmelo Anthony is the city of Denver

In the midst of a slew of reports that at the very least suggest, and at the most definitively say, Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony is as good as gone, new executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri says the team still wants the high-scoring forward. "I love Melo," Ujiri said. "I grew up in this league with Melo, kind of. It was my first years in the league, and I watched him grow. The Denver Nuggets want to keep Melo, and that's our priority. Carmelo is the Denver Nuggets, he's the city of Denver. He's done so well on this team. So we're going to deal with the issue full force."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’re hired. Now solve the Carmelo Anthony quagmire.

Last week, the Denver Nuggets brought in Masi Ujiri as their new head suit on the basketball side of things, and he stepped into the fire with the Anthony soap opera.

The superstar wants a change. He can opt-out next summer, become a free agent, and sign with the team of his choosing.

He’d prefer to force a trade, though, ink a long-term extension, and avoid a reduced salary when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement inevitably scales back the big-tickets superstars can earn.

So the speculation has been rampant. Nothing Ujiri says will be enough to convince Anthony to stay. He’s gone. It’s a done deal.

However, professing his love for Anthony is smart. It defuses the situation and buys the Nuggets time to get squeeze greater compensation from suitors in a trade.   

Hopefully, it works. Ujiri’s first test in the Nuggets’ front office will be his greatest.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Little chance Carmelo Anthony plays for Washington Wizards

The Wizards recently made a call to the Nuggets to check on the availability of Carmelo Anthony, according to a league source. The source added that the same phone call was made by "29 teams. Carmelo is pretty good."

Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday that following a conversation with Denver management, Anthony made it clear that he wants to be traded.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be an interesting story –superstar suits up for hometown team.

However, Carmelo Anthony, who actually hails from Baltimore, won’t be playing for the Washington Wizards anytime soon. The Wiz’ lacks the assets to facilitate such a trade with the Denver Nuggets.  

The Nuggets want a combination of expiring contracts, draft picks, and blue-chip talent. The Wizards aren’t trading first overall pick John Wall, so they can’t meet any of these requirements.

Also, Anthony’s wife, LaLa Vasquez, is a former MTV personality. She’d prefer a larger market to further her entertainment career, meaning the New York Knicks and even Los Angeles Clippers would seem a better fit.
 
While Anthony playing for Washington would be interesting, it’s unlikely.
 
-Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mission Impossible: Can Denver get equal value for Carmelo Anthony?

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Nuggets look ready to part ways with Carmelo Anthony who has made it clear he wants out of Denver. Anthony's camp has advised the Nuggets to deal the superstar forward since he plans to leave as a free agent next summer.

The relationship has become contentious, with Anthony's representatives making heavy-handed demands and Stan Kroenke responding in kind. "It’s almost a given they’re going to move him," said a team executive who has talked with both the Nuggets and Anthony’s agents.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Carmelo Anthony saga has hit the Denver Nuggets at an inopportune time.

George Karl, the coach, is battling cancer, so his future is uncertain. Masai Ujiri, the GM, is brand spanking new. The Kroenke family, the owners, are shuffling who oversees the various holdings in their empire, which includes the basketball team.

The Nuggets are in flux. Anthony - or any superstar - wouldn't sign a multi-year extension under such dire circumstances

The only thing harder than re-signing Anthony: getting equal value in a trade.

Consider Ujiri's predicament. He’s new. He has no leverage since Anthony can bolt as a free agent in July. Opposing GMs will likely lowball the former Raptors’ executive. And it’s never easy to get fair compensation when moving a superstar.  

Help will also be limited. Karl is trying to get healthy, while the Kroenke clan are preoccupied with buying the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

At least, the Nuggets have decided to trade Anthony. However, the hard part, the actual deal, is just starting.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Police investigate Nuggets’ J.R. Smith for ‘choking kid’

 

"We were called to that location about an incident possibly involving Mr. Smith. When we got there, the officers conducted their investigation. It did involve Mr. Smith."

Numerous players were taking part in drills when members of the Nuggets' coaching staff told the player who later called police to be physical with Smith.

"They were just wanting the guy to be physical with J.R., telling the other guys, 'Hey, body up on the guys and really make them work,'" the source said. "J.R. just lost it. He tried to choke the kid, and the kid called the cops."

HoopsVibe’s Quick Call: The truth has come out. It always does.

J.R. Smith was recently involved in an altercation with an unnamed player at the Denver Nuggets’ practice facility. Smith allegedly choked ‘player X’ for being overly aggressive in a drill, even though the coaching staff encouraged intensity.

The police were called. It was ugly. 

This is the final straw. After all, the talented but temperamental guard doesn’t even speak to coach George Karl, and his behaviour has constantly confounded and frustrated the Nuggets.

It’s no coincidence recent reports had the club looking to trade Smith. It was assumed the Nuggets were shopping him because they were considering rebuilding or clearing cap space.

Instead, they realized Smith will never grow up, will never mature, and will never reach his potential. Unfortunately, the rest of the NBA realizes this, too.         

--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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Tuesday , Aug , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo Anthony prefers Houston over New York

Anthony has hesitated to sign a three-year, $65 million extension and expressed intrigue with opting out of his contract next summer to become a free agent. Despite significant speculation the New York Knicks are the team that Anthony would most likely want to join, two sources close to him insisted the Knicks have been overstated as an object of his desire. Privately, Anthony has expressed more enthusiasm over joining the Houston Rockets than the Knicks, sources said.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For Carmelo Anthony, it's not all about New York.

Recent reports indicate Anthony is lobbying for a trade to the Houston Rockets, which would leave the Knicks in the cold. 

This is a surprise, but not a shock.

The Knicks lack the parts to trade for Anthony, so team and player would have to link up in July when the superstar hits free agency.

This may be too great a risk for Anthony, especially with a three-year, $65 million offer on the table from the Denver Nuggets. The Collective Bargaining Agreement expires next summer, and a new CBA would likely reduce the salary Anthony could earn as a free agent.

The star is trying to protect his earning power by engineering a sign-and-trade. And it explains why Anthony is considering taking the Nuggets' money and heading south to the Rockets.

The Rockets possess the assets to trade for Anthony and can still provide a solid supporting cast. He'd also remain in the Western Conference, away from the Boston Celtics' veterans, the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, and the Miami Heat's Three Kings.

Bottom line: Anthony isn't sleeping on Houston. Neither should we.    

--Oly Sandor.

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