NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony Trade Talks Die Down, Will He Stay a Nugget?
Carmelo Anthony is still a Nugget and trade talks appear to have died down a bit, at least for the moment. His future in Denver remains by far the biggest topic early in training camp.
LeBron James again finds himself under the microscope for comments he made on national television.
James' remarks regarding race playing a factor in the fallout from "The Decision" generated even more buzz around the Heat's training camp Thursday.
NBA owners are also in the spotlight this week.
There is a growing belief that the Maloof brothers will explore the possibility of moving the Kings out of Sacramento, while Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was fined $100,000 by the NBA for spouting off about the future of the salary cap.
Here's a closer look at those stories and what else is happening around the NBA.
Daniel Orton needs all time playing time and experience he can get to hone his raw skills, which makes Friday's news discouraging to the Magic. AOL Fanhouse is reporting the rookie will miss the entire preseason while undergoing a program to strengthen his left knee. The alarming part of this news is that the rehab stems from an injury he suffered two years ago while a senior in high school. According to Magic general manager Otis Smith, the knee was never strengthened properly after it was surgically repaired. It's looking more and more like Orton should have stayed another year at Kentucky.
Carmelo Anthony met with head coach George Karl to discuss his future Thursday afternoon. Only, according to both parties, the meeting focused on the near future as opposed to his fate in free agency or trades. Anthony told the Denver Post, "He told me what he was looking for this season, talked about training camp. It was a good conversation to have." Karl confirmed Anthony's story with reporters, saying he steered clear of temptation to approach the subject of his superstar's future in Denver.
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Jason Williams' career has been hampered by knee problems, and it looks like the veteran will be sidelined again. Inside Hoops is reporting the 34 year-old will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, a simple procedure but one that could end his career. The injury shouldn't have huge implications on Orlando's season now that Chris Duhon is on board to backup Jameer Nelson.
Greg Oden's constant battles with injuries have limited his opportunities to show what he can really do on the court. Now, the Blazers must decide what to do about his contract. Portland has until October 31 to sign him to an extension, otherwise he will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Blazers seem reluctant to discuss the situation, and according to the Oregonian, Oden has deferred questions from reporters regarding his contract to his agent. The former No. 1 overall pick has been working out with the Blazers but hasn't been cleared to scrimmage as he continues to recover from his ruptured patella.
Aaron Brooks was the NBA's Most Improved Player winner last season and was a go-to scorer for much of the season. He played well enough to merit serious consideration for the All-Star team. And yet, he is currently making less than his backup, Kyle Lowery. Brooks told the Houston Chronicle that he will still play with intensity and focus even while trying to convince the Rockets to give him a new contract. Houston has long maintained a firm policy to not re-negotiate with players still on rookie contracts and isn't likely to change the strict approach anytime soon.
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Nate McMillan is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the NBA, which makes the Blazers' reluctance to officially offer him a contract extension a bit of a surprise. McMillan has helped his team withstand devastating injuries throughout the last two seasons and stayed out of the organizational squabbles surrounding the dismissal of general manager Kevin Pritchard. According to the Oregonion, McMillan has had opportunities to discuss a possible extension but won't address the situation with the team until after the season.
At age 32, Kenyon Martin is coming off knee surgery and is likely to face a reduced role this season. That hasn't stopped him from expressing his desire for a contract extension. It also hasn't stopped him from saying he won't rush his return to the court and isn't happy with the Nuggets' signing of free agent Al Harrington. Martin told the Denver Post, "I love Al. But me and Al play the same position." That sentiment coupled with his desire to pace himself while rehabbing has Denver even more motivated to ship his $16.55 million contract out of town. Don't look for him on the court for at least a couple months.
Mickael Pietrus has a flare for the dramatic. He also has a tendency to completely disappear from the game, something that infuriated Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy last year. Now, with training camp underway, Van Gundy is showering Pietrus with heaps of praise. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the feisty head coach said Pietrus has been "unbelievable" early in training camp. The acquisition of Quentin Richardson and the improvement of J.J. Redick appears to have provided "Air France" with a much-needed dose of motivation.
According to Brian Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune, Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan is less than thrilled with Al Jefferson, who weighed in at 280 pounds before the start of training camp. The 6-10 forward is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2009-2010 season hampered by his continued recovery from knee surgery. Sloan's relationship with his new star should be interesting to watch as the season gets underway.
Even though Roddy Beaubois hasn't been cleared to return to practice yet, Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle likes what he sees from the young point guard of the future. According to ESPN.com, there is no immediate timetable for his return as he continues to recover from left foot surgery. Carlisle has praised Beaubois' work ethic in preparation for the upcoming season, when he will split time with the aging Jason Kidd.
After another year spent battling injuries, Manu Ginobili is apparently healthy and ready to go. Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich told the San Antonio-Express News that Ginobili and veteran guard Tony Parker both are in good physical shape and poised to have solid seasons. Without adding any major pieces on the perimeter in the offseason, the Spurs are again pinning their hopes on the health of Ginobili and Parker.
Phil Jackson is never shy about expressing his opinions, which makes his comments regarding the Lakers' representation of the NBA overseas this training camp hardly a surprise. Jackson told NBA.com, "training camp is kind of a bust this year." In addition to spending time touring Europe, the Lakers are dealing with Andrew Bynum's injury issues and an aging roster that needs all the rest and normalcy it can get.
Ted Leonsis is new to the NBA ownership scene, and commissioner David Stern was quick to remind him to keep his mouth shut regarding the collective bargaining negotiations. Leonsis, who owns both the Wizards and the NHL's Washington Captials, commented on the how the structure of the NBA's salary cap could look. In May, he was critical of the NBA, saying the NHL's firm salary cap prevented owners from taking "stupid pills" and made the league more stable. Stern has clearly heard enough.
NBA.com is reporting Kings' co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof might have no choice but to begin exploring options to move their franchise out of Sacramento. The news comes on the heels of the NBA deciding to end its active role in trying to obtain financing for a new arena in hopes of generating more revenue for the team. The biggest obstacle to the move could be finding a place to land. Las Vegas is unlikely, and although moves to Kansas City and Seattle have been mentioned, there is no guarantee either of those regions could support an NBA team.
Another day, another Q&A session with reporters regarding Carmelo Anthony's future. The hottest topic in NBA training camp is alive and well even after trade talks appear to have disintegrated. Thursday, Anthony reminded reporters that he is still playing for the Nuggets and added he can see himself playing the entire season and Denver before looking to the future. There is no question he is saying all the right things, but it's difficult to know for sure what is really going on behind the scenes in the Mile High City.
Read more here.