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NBA Rumors for Saturday, Dec. 7
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This week, [Carmelo] Anthony had to deny reports that he'd already decided he was going to leave the Knicks in free agency next summer. He said he's not even thinking about next summer. There's no reason not to take Anthony at his word; he probably hasn't made up his mind. But also realize that at some point he is going to, and those choices will not be based on what he can do to help the Knicks assemble a championship roster. This is what Anthony does. ESPN.com
If the Knicks do not turn around their season when Tyson Chandler returns from injury, you can expect the Anthony issue to become a monster heading toward the February trade deadline. Because if Anthony doesn't think the Knicks are best for him over the next five years, he will make it an issue and possibly force a trade again if he thinks that would be best for him. ESPN.com
The Knicks, sources say, have zero intention of trading Anthony no matter what he says about next summer. Not only did owner Jim Dolan personally seal the deal to bring Anthony to New York, but the front office realizes it has one of the most talented players in the league and won't be able to get fair value in return. ESPN.com
The only team that can offer Anthony a five-year max contract next summer is the Knicks. That gives them about a $30 million advantage. That is the team's best chip in the negotiation. ESPN.com
The unexpected continues on the Indiana Pacers’ eventful trip to Texas: Danny Granger practiced. “I feel good,” Granger said following the Friday session, his first live participation in weeks. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.” Since Oct. 28, when the team announced that Granger would miss approximately three weeks with a strained left calf, the sight of the veteran forward had been limited to post-practice shooting drills and sideline cheering. The team’s timeline has long since expired and Granger has missed all 19 games this season. Indianapolis Star
“(The Pacers’ trainers are) kind of holding me back and I think they know best. If it was up to me, I’d be playing, but like I said, they know best,” Granger said. “That’s just me talking from my competitive side. I practiced today, so obviously I’m not far away.” Granger, who has averaged 18.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and shot 38.4 percent from the 3-point line during his career, described feeling “anxious” to play again since missing all but five games last season with a knee injury. Indianapolis Star
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk went through an individual workout on Friday and could return to game action next week. Olynyk suffered what Stevens had dubbed a "significant" sprain of his right ankle during a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 23. He was expected to miss two weeks, which would have put him back on the court for Friday's visit from the Denver Nuggets, but needed additional time to heal. Olynyk will miss his seventh straight game on Friday, but Stevens said he could be back as early as Tuesday's visit to the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN Boston
"From what I’ve been told, [Olynyk] went through an individual workout [Friday]," said Stevens. "He is going to, hopefully, feel good [Saturday] and go light in practice tomorrow. He’ll probably be out Sunday [vs. the New York Knicks]. He’ll be day-to-day starting next week. Tuesday might be a stretch, it might not be. I don’t know. But he’s close to being back." ESPN Boston
The idea, in theory, made sense. In order to promote team unity and keep the focus on winning, as opposed to individual statistics, Rudy Gay banned stat sheets from the Toronto Raptors locker room. “Actually, it happened in Memphis,” Gay told The Post recently when asked where the idea came from, referring to his stint with the Grizzlies. “It just promotes teamwork, I think, because you’re not playing for stats.
“Nobody in there,” Gay continued, pointing towards the Raptors locker room, “is playing for stats. We’re just trying to get wins. That’s really the only stat that matters, at the end of the day.” NY Post
Over the past few seasons, Gay has become the symbol of the overrated, overpaid player in today’s NBA, defined by his massive contract – which pays him $17.9 million this season with a player option for next season at $19.3 million – while being a volume scorer who barely averages more points (19.6 per game) than shots (18.8) on a team that is 6-11 and in 10th place in the dreadful Eastern Conference. NY Post
Gay’s game has been completely dissected as he’s been used as one of the prime examples in the argument that high-volume, inefficient shooters are counter-productive to a team’s ability to win. Gay’s argument is the stats don’t tell the whole story, either about basketball in general or his game in particular. “Do I think I’m unfairly cast?” he asked. “Yeah, because the things they don’t keep in stats, I flourish at. “I think everybody on the team would attest that they want the ball in my hands at the end of games, and when they need a basket, they go to me. Whether my analytic stats are bad or not, they like that [option]. That’s all that really matters to me. What comes up and all that stuff … of course I’d like to make all of my shots. I don’t shoot them just to try to miss." NY Post
Injuries: Here’s a list of some of the players who have missed significant time already: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Danny Granger, Marc Gasol, Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala, Steve Nash, J.J. Redick, C.J. McCollum, Trey Burke, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Larry Sanders. That doesn’t even include Rajon Rondo, Danilo Gallinari and Kobe Bryant continuing to recover from major injuries they suffered last season. NY Post
Tobias Harris rejoined the Magic on their six-game, 12-day road trip in New York to begin his rehabilitation process again. Harris, who is still out with a high ankle sprained, worked up quite the sweat prior to Friday’s game, getting in a vigorous workout while riding the stationery bike. Harris missed five weeks of action after suffering a high ankle sprain on Oct. 20 in a preseason game. He returned on Nov. 24 and played 16 minutes against the Phoenix Suns before returning to the bench with recurring pain in the ankle. And when the pain was still in play two nights later in Atlanta, the Magic shut Harris down again. There is no firm timetable on his return, but he is at least back on the floor and back with his teammates. OrlandoMagic.com
After Monday night’s 106-102 victory over Indiana, Damian Lillard met the media wearing a designer T-shirt inscribed with “Billionaire” across the front. And why not? Lillard isn’t as rich as his team’s owner, billionaire Paul Allen, but he’s in America’s highest tax bracket as point guard of one of the NBA’s elite teams. Elite? Sounds funny to say that about a Trail Blazers club that hasn’t won a playoff series since 2000, but it’s the truth. Portland is on a short list of teams that have a chance to win a championship this season, and Lillard’s as big a reason as any. Portland Tribune
I ask Lillard if he is happy in Portland. He nods affirmatively, adding that his mother, Gina, brother Houston and sister Lanae have chosen to make the City of Roses their home, too. “It’s a great place for me,” the Oakland, Calif. native says. “It reminds me of Berkeley, with the people you see downtown and how busy it gets down there. I like how the people are behind the Trail Blazers. Portland Tribune
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