Rockets releasing Carmelo Anthony?

Houston Rockets Media Day
Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America

Jesus how bad is Melo this season?

In 10 games this season, Melo is averaging 13.4 PPG  and 5 RPG in 29 MPG. His 3 point percentage isn’t the best at 32.8%, but his free throws are a shitty 68%.

Just this past week, we were told that he and the Rockets were having discussions on his role with the team, and it looks like those talks didn’t go over well; the NY Times have reported his time with the Rockets will soon be up.

After a 4-7 start, it looks like Trevor Ariza is missed in Houston. He’s averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Maybe it’s the defense? Who knows, I don’t have the answers. Ariza’s defensive rating of 115 compared to Melo’s 112 doesn’t add up!

But Carmelo doesn’t seem to fit in Houston. So who will have the balls to sign this ailing vet? Portland? Minnesota? 76ers? No matter where this guy goes, it never seems to fit. Maybe it’s time to retire… His days are numbered and his role on any team is surely questionable. He didn’t fit in NY, OKC, or Houston. So will a contender need him or will he just be another vet who doesn’t know when to quit?

Jimmy Butler to Philly

Image result for jimmy butler 76ers

Folks, Shams (well Minnesota Timberwolves reporter Jon Krawczynski) had it first: Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia.

This is what we’re hearing at this moment, per Shams

Philly gets:

Jimmy Butler

Justin Patton

Minnesota gets:

Robert Covington

Dario Saric

Jerryd Bayless

2022 second-round pick

I think this was a PERFECT move by the 76ers.  They keep Markelle Fultz, and they keep a highly valued 2021 first-round pick from Miami (assets I thought would HAVE to go in any marquee deal).  Covington is a solid two-way player (and elite defender), but so is Jimmy Butler, and what Butler brings on offense for this team will be worth the minor setback (and it won’t be much) he would be on defense.  Saric is a solid player (been called a “poor man’s Kevin Love), but Philly did not value him or use him as well as they could have.

Minnesota gets a replacement for Butler in Covington, and a floor spacer to put next to Karl-Anthony Towns.  You never get perfect value in a trade like this, but this move gives Minnesota good role players that fit their system (Thibs will love Covington) to place around the anchors of this team: Wiggins and Towns (and Rose?)

I wrote awhile back about new 76ers GM Elton Brand, and how he had the pieces (and future salary cap) to make a move, and boy, did he do just that.

The 76ers can now roll out a starting lineup like this:

Fultz – Reddick – Butler – Simmons – Embiid

Butler will solve a LOT of problems for this team, as they now have someone that can create on offense and get buckets.  This will take the pressure off of Embiid to sore in bunches, and can allow Simmons to flourish as a playmaker.  Fultz can keep trying to develop, but that’s for another day.

Prior to this trade, Philly only had $66 million on their books, but $14.7 million of that was for Saric and Covington.  Now, that number goes down to roughly $51.3 million.  They have more than enough room to sign Butler to a max contract, AND re-sign JJ Reddick to a deal like the one he has this season (~$12 million).  Philly will need to prepare to sign Ben Simmons to a large contract soon (RFA in 2020), and can only have two max contracts on the books (Embiid has one), but they have enough salary to give Butler a good deal.

This was a calculated risk by Philly, as Butler could leave this offseason, but I think it was worth it.  They keep Fultz, hoping he finds his pre-draft self and develops into something special.  They keep that draft pick I alluded to earlier.  And more importantly, if Butler does leave, they would have over $50 million in salary cap in an offseason that will feature Kevin Durant, Klay Thompsan, Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins, etc.  Philly needed a perimeter player and scorer to compliment Simmons and Embiid, and they got one.  Butler (29) may be older than Embiid (24) and Simmons (22), and this may only be a short-term window to maximize on everyone’s talent, but Philly will have a solid 2-3 years to do so.

They were falling behind Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee, and the status-quo was about to have them behind the pecking order in the East for years.  Philly bet on their core, and bet on Butler to raise their ceiling.  I think this puts them right in the discussion in the Eastern Conference.  They still may lose to Boston and Toronto, but I can no longer say the massive advantage that existed before does now.

This was a bold move, but I liked it.  You wall hated Kawhi to Toronto when it first happened, but look at Kawhi now:

Philly will be fine either way, and I know Ainge would have made the exact same move.  Buckle up, the East just became fun (as did Christmas Day).

Follow Nick on Twitter (@Nick_Collins14)

Who to Watch (November 9 – November 15)

Image result for giannis
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Week 2 of everyone’s new favorite series: Who to Watch.  This week, our focus is over the upcoming week of November 9 through November 15.  Week 10 of the NFL season, and over 10% into the NBA season, basketball and football is the focus going forward (maybe we’ll do a Winter Classic piece, let us know).

With that, lets see who Nick, Fredy, Andy, and Kerm are keeping an eye out for this upcoming week. Continue reading “Who to Watch (November 9 – November 15)”

Dez Bryant to Saints : Hit or Miss?

Dez to the Saints makes a whole lotta sense. When your second and third leading receivers behind Michael Thomas (880 yards) are Kamara and Watson, you could always use help. The Saints have a good running game and a balanced offense that could cut you up for 35 point a game (their average) whenever they want. They’re second in the league in scoring, so what do they need Dez for? Continue reading “Dez Bryant to Saints : Hit or Miss?”