Friday AM update: LeBron keeps them guessing

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:33

Most of the NBA attention was focused on LeBron James in the last 24 hours. Maybe that's why Carmelo Anthony is waiting so long to make his decision, so he can get a few days to himself in the national spotlight.

It's difficult to tell where Anthony is going. The story is accurate that he's still engaged with the Bulls, but how genuine is his interest in Chicago? Only time will tell.

Anthony's plight seems to rest on these NBA words of wisdom repeated so often, they've become a cliché -- he's not leaving $30 million on the table. This line ignores the fact that he'll likely play a fifth year with a new team, which would lower the money differential, and his opportunities would grow by playing on successful teams, in Chicago or anywhere else.

Thursday AM update: Still waiting on Melo, LBJ decisions

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:27

There have been predictions of Carmelo Anthony staying with the Knicks and LeBron James returning to Cleveland, but as of Thursday morning, the NBA world was still waiting official announcements.

There is also no telling when either player might make a decision. James is reportedly planning to attend the World Cup final in Brazil on Sunday, so maybe he'll say something first. Or maybe announce during the break between extra time and penalty kicks.

After James met with Pat Riley in Las Vegas on Wednesday, there were some reports that James wants to talk to his family before deciding.

Report: Anthony will return to Knicks

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:01

The New York Daily News reported a friend of Carmelo Anthony confirmed the high-scoring Knicks forward will stay in New York. The story says an announcement is expected Thursday.

Nothing is official yet. If the Bulls miss out on Anthony, they are expected to focus their effort on signing Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. If Gasol says no, there's no telling what might happen. There's a long list of available players and no obvious targets.

As far as the Knicks' prospects for the future, they will have some cap room to spend in 2015.

Cavs clear landing strip for LeBron

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 11:18

As of Wednesday morning, the momentum was certainly building for a LeBron James return to Cleveland.

The Cavs agreed to a three-way trade that clears enough cap space to give James a maximum contract. Cleveland sends guard Jarrett Jack and forward Sergey Karasev to Brooklyn; while center Tyler Zeller and a top-10 protected 2016 first-round pick go to Boston. The Celtics also get guard Marcus Thornton from the Nets.

There are also suggestions the Cavs are after former James teammates Ray Allen, Mike Miller James Jones.

There is a conflict in play here. A few days ago, Miami came to agreements with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, with the idea that they would help fortify the supporting cast when the Power Trio returned intact next season.

Latest 'Melo rumor: Watching want ads in Miami

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 07/08/2014 - 12:29

The latest rumor to fall off the tree during “Melo Watch 2014” is he's waiting to see if a spot opens up with Miami's Power Trio.

The theory goes, if Chris Bosh decides to accept an offer from Houston, then Anthony could fill that slot and play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the Heat.

Anything's possible, but this one doesn't add up. The feeling here is Bosh will leave only if LeBron bolts. So either the Power Trio plays on for Year 5, or LeBron goes back home to Cleveland. In that case, Bosh would probably consider jumping to Houston and who knows what Wade will do.

NBA free-agent recap: The big tease begins in Cleveland

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:15

Transformers sequels are popular, for whatever reason, so why wouldn't the nation tune into “The Decision, Part Two?”

Monday's free-agency buzz concerned the growing belief LeBron James might be ready to return to Cleveland. This is serious enough that owner Dan Gilbert's manic rant in comic sans type was finally removed from the Cavs website after four years, according to multiple reports.

The Cavaliers would need to clear some salaries to offer James a maximum contract, but that can probably be done. Houston is also said to be chasing Chris Bosh as an alternative to keeping the Power Trio together in Miami.

If James isn't serious about Cleveland, he should put a stop to this charade immediately. That city doesn't need an extended tease.

Deng, Heat meet and other free-agency news

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 14:33

Let's take a tour of Saturday's NBA free agency news:

One interesting development today was Pat Riley reportedly arriving in Chicago to meet with Luol Deng and his representatives. Deng, the long-time Bulls forward, is not expected to re-sign with Cleveland, especially after the Cavs drafted small forward Andrew Wiggins.

Deng would make a good LeBron James replacement in Miami, but how would he fit with the Power Trio? Maybe not so bad, considering the Heat uses a small lineup so often. If Riley can keep the core together, Miami's primary lineup could include Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Deng, James and Chris Bosh.

Is the pursuit of Anthony over?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/04/2014 - 08:37

The Internet world seemed to think New York promising to give Carmelo Anthony a full max contract is the microphone-dropper. The Knicks reportedly did that Thursday night.

Maybe it is. Plenty of people thought Anthony's free-agent tour was designed mostly to coax a five-year, $129 million deal from the Knicks,

While Anthony mulls his options over the holiday weekend, the Bulls have a few angles of hope they can carry.

There doesn't have to be a huge difference in money, for one thing. If Anthony joins another team, he's limited to four years and smaller raises. But if the Bulls can find a way to get to their max of four years, $96.6 million – either through a sign-and-trade or by clearing enough salaries – they'll be in the ballpark.

Report: McDermott bought round for Omaha bar on draft night

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/03/2014 - 11:09

Doug McDermott sounds like Chicago's kind of guy.

According to, McDermott called the Blue Jay Bar and Grill near the Creighton campus last Thursday and bought a keg for patrons and a shot for anyone who wanted one.

The high-scoring forward was in a celebratory mood after finding out he was headed to the Bulls in a draft-night trade. Here's the full story:

Anthony's Chicago visit is underway

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 13:45

The Bulls put their decorative powers to use Tuesday as New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony made his free agent visit to Chicago.

Banners were hung on the east wall of the United Center, featuring Anthony in a Bulls uniform and NBA championship trophies. The electronic message boards -- installed just a few months ago -- also carried Carmelo photos and messages.

Shortly after noon, Bulls center Joakim Noah arrived at the United Center. Roughly 30 minutes later, Anthony arrived in a van, complete with police escort, and walked past the Michael Jordan statue into the UC.

The Bulls will try to convince Anthony that his best chance to win a championship is in a lineup with Noah, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.