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Saturday , Jul , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Wade will consider signing in Europe?

We’ve known that the lockout was a possibility for the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s not just something that came overnight. (Williams) didn’t wake up and say, ‘All right, go play in Turkey.’ Obviously, this is something that he felt that if a lockout was to last a long time, ‘I would consider playing.’ It’s because of the game. He wants to play the game, wants to play it at a high level, and if we can’t play in the NBA, he’s going to take that opportunity to try to play somewhere else. Hopefully, we don’t get to that point, but if we do, I’m sure a lot of guys will possibly explore it.”

And Wade made it clear: He could be in that group. "If there’s an opportunity there, I’d consider it,” he said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Considering and doing is different.

Right now, Dwyane Wade and other NBA stars can talk like they’ll sign overseas with a European club side.

Talk is cheap, however.

Will Wade and the crème de la crème of David Stern’s league uproot their family for a fraction of their NBA salary? And who will pay the insurance on their big-ticket NBA contracts?

Suppose Wade and his NBA brethren work out the particulars and sign abroad. There’s no guarantee they get paid because the best European clubs are in bankrupt nations like Italy, Spain, and Greece. And European owners are known for not honouring contracts.

Wade and others say they’ll consider Europe. They’ll also consider the risks and likely wait for the lockout to end in America.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo, Kobe, and Amar’e to pass on Europe?

With Nets superstar Deron Williams breaking the ice by agreeing to terms to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout lasts for a long time, will Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony follow suit? Highly doubtful.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There will not be a mass exodus of NBA superstars to Europe.

For a variety of reasons, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and/or Amar’e Stoudemire won’t follow Deron Williams to exotic locations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, and Italy.

This trio may listen to offers. Their people may publicly express interest in Europe. And we -the media and fans- will eat it up because there’s nothing to discuss during the lockout.

Bottom line: few, if any, superstars will join Williams.

These high-profile athletes need insurance against injuries. This isn’t cheap, and would negate much of the salary they earned for playing.

In some cases, the risk is too great. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, has already said his client head won't risk the remaining $80 million on his NBA contract with the New York Knicks for a few games abroad.  

Italy, Spain, Greece, and/or Portugal are on the verge of bankruptcy, and need economic help from the European Union. Can these countries afford NBA superstars? And will their leveraged owners honor these big-ticket contracts?

Expect Kobe Bryant to instead head east –as in the Far East. Bryant will apparently headline a tour to basketball-mad China, where he'll market his brand, shoes, and everything else Kobe-related.

Superstars will use Europe to gain leverage in negotiations during the lockout. The game's biggest names will be reluctant to follow Williams overseas.

--Oly Sandor.

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Deron Williams; The NBA’s Curt Flood?
Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Paul Eide

Deron Williams; The NBA’s Curt Flood?

 

Deron Williams approach to the NBA’s labor issues is awesome and unprecedented. The lockout is a real thing, not just a buzzword, and no one gets paid while it’s happening. Seeing various NFL players have to go back to school or get jobs as stock traders or as substitute teachers is the reality of a lockout. Cash is king and the reason these guys play in the NBA is the same reason the owners own teams; to make money.
 
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Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams to play in Turkey?

Beşiktaş Cola Turka, briefly known as the team employing Allen Iverson (remember him?), has reportedly agreed to terms with another, perhaps more reliable American NBA baller. Turkey-based sports news outlet NTV Spor announced today that Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets will joining the TBL club for the 2011-12 with an out clause, should the NBA lockout end. Williams stands to earn some $16 million with Mikhail Prokhorov’s team, should a season be played.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was Europe or nothing. Europe won.

NBA owners have locked-out the players, so Deron Williams could ply his trade overseas or sit and wait for the dispute to be settled.

Not surprisingly, the star point-guard picked Europe, specifically Besiktas Cola of Turkey. Of course, this is the same club Allen Iverson recently suited up for.

Williams sees Europe as an opportunity to keep in shape, earn a salary, and play competitive basketball. If there’s an NBA season, he can opt-out and return to America.

There’s an obvious risk: injury. Williams could hurt himself while in Turkey, which would impact his career and earning power in the NBA.

Now Williams will get insurance for financial protection, but this doesn’t help the New Jersey Nets, the club that mortgaged their future to acquire him, in case of an injury.

Nevertheless, heading to Europe is Williams’ right, especially in this current environment of a lockout.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want Dwight Howard?

Williams has made no firm promises about staying in New Jersey but has said he likes the direction of the franchise under new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The 27-year-old has likewise expressed optimism about the team's scheduled move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season and his potential role in luring other top players to the Nets. The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Collective Bargaining Agreement may change, but the NBA will always be a star’s league.

Take Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. The soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise mortgaged the farm to acquire Williams via trade, even though he can become a free agent in July of 2012.

Right now, Williams has leverage. Before signing a long-term extension with the Nets, he wants a co-star.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The massive five-man can also opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. Howard, on paper, is the perfect running mate for Williams.

The two would form a lethal inside-outside combo, capable of rivalling most eastern foes. Their star power would match Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who ply their trade with the crosstown New York Knicks.

Unfortunately, the Nets have competition. The Orlando Magic are desperate to keep their franchise face, while the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have both made plays for Howard.

Getting Howard won't be easy. So re-signing Williams won’t be easy. But both are a must for the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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Why was Kyrie Irving number one again?
Saturday , Jun , 25 , 2011 J.N.

Why was Kyrie Irving number one again?

The 2011 NBA Draft is done. Did your team get what they wanted? This particular draft was all about needs. There were many international players from all over the place. A lot of teams did not get what they wanted according to their fan bases. Rumored trades, and other stuff we don’t know, did not go down because of the uncertainty around the new collective bargaining agreement. This is completely understandable unless you are David Kahn. He was free-wheeling all over the draft. Trade away your cow and tractor? He’ll do that, too. 

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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 , May , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe Interview with Deron Williams

Recently our big brothers at CraveOnline caught up with Deron Williams at SXSW and pressed him for his thoughts on the impending lockout and the parallels he sees between the NBA and NFL's respective situations. Check out the video below and let us know what you think by dropping a comment at the bottom of the page.

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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

The Knicks’ dilemma: Sam Dalembert or Chris Paul/Deron Williams?

Carmelo Anthony has returned to the city, and New York may see another basketball homecoming of sorts. Sources close to Knicks president Donnie Walsh say he has targeted Kings 6-foot-11 shot blocker Samuel Dalembert as the likeliest free-agent catch this summer.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Really? That's the plan?

Reports indicate the New York Knicks’ top goal this summer is to sign a blue-collar center. And these same reports suggest the Knicks have targeted, wait for it, the one and only Samuel Dalembert.

Now Dalembert, despite having a limited upside on offense, could, in theory, cover Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire’s defensive shortcomings. So perhaps this isn't such a terrible idea.

However, the economic realities of the NBA, could pose a problem. Suppose they ink Dalmbert to a contract. Suppose Chris Paul and/or Deron Williams play out the final years of their contracts and both become free agents in July of 2012.

Would the Knicks have enough cap room after signing Dalembert to land Paul or Williams, two of the game’s best table-setter?

The answer: probably not. It could be Dalembert or Paul/Williams. If this is the situation, GM Donnie Walsh -or whoever else is running the Knicks- should think carefully about the club's plan.

Signing a mediocre center instead of a world class point guard is unforgivable.

--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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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony believes Deron Williams will re-sign with Nets

Williams' contract expires after next season, and the Knicks could have the cap space to sign him. Anthony said. "I haven't seen it but he's going to be in New York too, so you'll see a lot more of that -- the competition thing. We got another Subway Series coming."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Takes one to know one.

New York Knick Carmelo Anthony is in the best position to know the future of New Jersey Net Deron Williams. Both are part of a small clique known as superstars.

And superstars do talk. They travel in the same circle, and often have inside information on fellow superstars before media, agents, or fans.

Anthony believes Williams will re-sign with the Nets next summer, meaning the Knicks may give Chauncey Billups another short-term deal or chase Chris Paul, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

However, there’s another reason Williams may stick with the Nets: the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The league’s financial system will change. The days of the superstar laden team could be over, especially if there’s a hard cap with no loopholes.

The Knicks may have no choice but to pass on adding a superstar floor leader like Williams or Paul. So 'Melo may end up being right. Just not for the reason he thinks.

--Oly Sandor.

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Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011

The season is almost over. It is time to look back and reflect on the positives and negatives. The hype before tip-off was through the roof. There was a lot of anticipation on new rivalries and storylines to be played out. Will the South Beach trio work out? How will Blake Griffin play? Is Steve Nash’s window closed? Are the Lakers still the team to beat? Kevin Durant got the MVP? The Chicago Bulls are 4th seeders, right?

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Sunday , Apr , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Jerry Sloan open to coaching again in NBA?

Jerry Sloan declared "I'm not looking for another job" when he resigned in February as Utah's coach after 23 seasons there, but he hasn't necessarily retired for good.

Sloan would listen if another team approached him, according to a source who has spoken to Sloan recently, and would seriously consider the right situation. But he won't actively seek another job or have anyone campaign for him. Almost alone among NBA coaches, Sloan, who turned 69 a week ago, doesn't have an agent.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps Todd Smith, known to the masses as Ladies Love Cool James, put it best: ‘don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years’.

On the surface, LL Cool J and Jerry Sloan have nothing in common. Like that iconic line from Momma Said Knock You Out, Sloan reportedly has interest in returning to what he has done for years.

(Come on, man ...)

Of course, the veteran coach stepped away from the Utah Jazz earlier this year. The Salt Lake City sideline had been home for 20 plus seasons.

There were rumors about why he left: some said he was burnt out; some said he was tired of his situation; some speculated that superstar point guard Deron Williams had become too much too handle.

Whatever the case, Sloan is interested in returning from his temporary hiatus. Not making a comeback.

But would Sloan’s shtick succeed with another team?

Utah seemed the perfect fit. Sloan had the unconditional support of ownership. Until Williams, players either got in line or got out. Such an approach might fail in another market with established stars or superstars.  

So a comeback –sorry a return- may not happen, even if Sloan has been coaching for years. This is a reflection on the sad state of the NBA, not on Sloan.

--Oly Sandor.

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Deron Williams. The most hated man in Utah Jazz history?
Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Deron Williams. The most hated man in Utah Jazz history?

Charles Barkley once said, “I may be wrong, but I doubt it.” How is it like to live the life of the most hated person in any community? This sounds like a good tag line for a film. This was once held by Carlos Boozer who was rumored to milk injuries. Deron was the sweetest angel you can ever find. How things done changed. D-Wills is rocking the New Jersey Nets jersey? What, I don’t even…let me stomach this for a bit.

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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Mar , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy King: Deron Williams is better than Chris Paul

For months, New Jersey coveted Carmelo Anthony. "I always thought that if I got [Anthony], it would lead to my point guard," King said. "And I’ve always leaned to [Williams] a little more than the other one [Chris Paul] that people were talking about."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a debate that has raged since both entered the league as lottery picks in 2005.

Who is the better point guard: Chris Paul or Deron Williams?

New Jersey Nets Executive Billy King apparently prefers the powerful Williams over the lightning-quick Paul. Of course, King just traded for Williams, so his opinion is hardly a surprise.

He has to support his newest addition.

However, there’s a legitimate case to be made for Williams. His bigger frame doesn’t wear down and suits the flex offensive sets that Coach Jerry Sloan ran with the Utah Jazz, while Paul’s smaller frame is more susceptible to injuries.

Paul and Williams are both free agents in 2012. Both should end up in New York. One will sign with the Knicks; one will sign with the Nets.

Then the ‘CP3’ versus ‘D-Will’ debate will move to another level.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul on Utah trading Deron Williams: ‘not a good look’

Chris Paul responded to the news of Utah trading Deron Williams with several less than flattering tags directed to the Jazz."Utah traded DWill?? #EpicFail #notagoodlook #trippin #cmonson," wrote Paul.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Actually Chris Paul, you commenting on another team and player’s business is an ‘EpicFail’.

You’d think one of the NBA’s premier point guards would know better or, at a minimum, have better things to do then going 'viral' on the Utah Jazz for dealing Deron Williams.

After all, his New Orleans Hornets are competing for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference and their future in The Bayou is uncertain.

Apparently this isn’t enough to occupy Paul’s time. He feels the need to speak up -in a manner befitting of a Twilight obsessed pre-teen- on the Jazz moving their franchise face.

To quote Paul: this is ‘notagoodlook’.

--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: 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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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York in 2012 makes sense.

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

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

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

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

--Oly Sandor.
 
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