It’s safe to say the NBA’s off-season has already been more entertaining than the previous season of play. CP3 went to the Rockets, Paul George joined the Thunder, and Gordon Hayward bolted for the Eastern Conference. And somehow, the shuffling of super stars across the league has only just begun.
The Future Of Carmelo Anthony
According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks are working on a trade involving Carmelo Anthony. Compensation seems to be the one sticking point in this deal for the Knicks. Less than a month ago, the Rockets shipped Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, and a first round pick to the Clippers for Chris Paul. Do the Rockets possess enough remaining assets to acquire New York’s franchise player?
The 33-year-old Anthony is still a star in the league. In 74 games last season, Melo averaged 22.4 PPG on a poor Knicks’ team. The 14-year-pro does have a no-trade clause in his contract with the Knicks that includes a conditional trade kicker that would pay him an additional $8.1 million if dealt.
Last week, Houston handed James Harden the richest contract in NBA history, so money is not the issue here. But, are the Rockets willing to lose more value off their bench? Their depth along with their perimeter shooting were the reasons they finished as a #3 seed last season. The addition of Carmelo obviously makes Houston a better team, but will they balk at the cost?
Russell Westbrook Offered The Max
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is not hiding his desire to lock up Russell Westbrook long-term. Presti went as far to say talks with Westbrook are seemingly in the guard’s court. If the reigning MVP was to ink an extension with OKC, it would include $217 million over five years. Westbrook can sign the deal until it expires when the 2017-18 season begins.
The past year has been a whirlwind for Presti. He goes from a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals against the NBA’s greatest regular season team to a Kevin Durant-less squad in less than a month. Then he adds Paul George to play alongside Westbrook this season to compete with Durant’s new team.
Could Presti be in charge of a roster that features neither George or Westbrook a year from now? That is what the Thunder has to worry about, which is why the pressure is on to lock up the 28-year-old all-star right now. If he walks away after the year, it could signal a full blown rebuild in OKC.
David Griffin Not Coming to NYK
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin officially withdrew from consideration for a position with the Knicks. The two sides reportedly could not agree to a power structure within the organization. Griffin remains the best GM candidate on the market after his contract with the Cavs expired on June 30.