Nets and Nuggets reportedly reach a deal for Carmelo Anthony

The Denver Nuggets MELO-drama may finally be over heading into All-Star weekend in Los Angeles has reportedly they have made a deal with the New Jersey Nets. Obviously, this situation with Carmelo Anthony is complicated to say the least as a contract extension will have to be signed in order for this deal to go through, but signs are all points who deal that could be made during this All-Star weekend.

A few months ago, the trade rumors involving superstar Carmelo Anthony started to swirl around the league as it was reported that the All-Star forward had no intention of signing the $65 million three-year contract extension with the Denver Nuggets. Once this news surfaced, a lot of teams around the league start to get very interested in arguably one of the best scorers in the NBA.

The first team to show their interest in Carmelo Anthony was the New Jersey Nets. With new Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokorov at the helm of the Nets and a bold statement saying that they will be a title contender in the next five years, New Jersey has become a team that is willing to take bold chances including going after one of the best players in league.

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets
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Of course, the New Jersey Nets weren’t the only team interested in Melo as the New York Knicks and the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers also had interest in acquiring the All-Star forward.

With Melo playing his college basketball with Syracuse and his wife Lala Vasquez working in the Big Apple, the Knicks seem to be the team that would inevitably end up with Anthony as he said he would sign a contract extension if he was traded to New York. The Lakers also heard team that Anthony was willing to sign an extension with, but despite a lot of trade rumors coming out of Los Angeles, the defending champs never seem like a real option for the Denver Nuggets.

Fortunately for New Jersey, they may have been able to convince Denver to make a deal which could have Carmelo Anthony playing in a Nets jersey sooner rather than later.

Reportedly, the New Jersey Nets and the Denver Nuggets have reached a deal, but it all depends on whether or not Carmelo Anthony is willing to sign a contract extension with the team. If Melo doesn’t sign an extension or has no intention to, the deal will fall through and this MELO-drama will start this all over again.

At this point in time, the Denver Nuggets are desperate to make a deal as they stand to lose more than any other team if they can trade Antony before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 24. With that being said, they will be doing everything within their power to get this deal done as fast as possible.

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NBA Trade Rumor: Is Carmelo Anthony headed to Hollywood?

The Denver Nuggets have been surrounded by all sorts of trade rumors over the past couple of months involving their superstar Carmelo Anthony. Most of these rumors have been because the soon to be free agent Carmelo has decided not to sign a contract extension with the Nuggets which would pay him $65 million dollars over the next three years.

With an annual income that will having Melo bringing in $20+ million dollars over the next three years, the money is not the problem, but the location is as the 26 year old All-Star would rather be playing in the Big Apple alongside Amare Stoudemire with the New York Knicks. Not only does Melo believe that he would have a better chance of winning a title with the Knicks, but the Big Apple has a soft spot in his heart as he played his college ball in New York at Syracuse.

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Even though the consensus around the league still seems to be that Melo will end up in New York one way or another, things just started to get very interesting with the two-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers showing interest in Carmelo Anthony.

It is no secret that the Lakers have struggled this season in their second straight title defence, but despite being well over .500 with a record of 36-16, they seem to be ready to make another blockbuster deal that could bring another superstar to Hollywood.

Carmelo Anthony during an NBA preseason game i...
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Reportedly, the Lakers finally seem ready to part ways with their promising young center Andrew Bynum. The deal for Carmelo Anthony will be built around Andrew Bynum and possibly some other players like Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom and Nene Hilario.

This is all speculation at this point in time, but with Melo saying that he will not be signing with the Denver after this season, the Nuggets will have to get something done before the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline.

The Los Angeles Lakers getting involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks definitely makes things much more interesting with the NBA trade deadline right around the corner, but even though Melo has said that he would sign an extension with the Lakers, the Knicks still seem to be his most likely destination.

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There is no question that the Lakers have some extremely valuable pieces to offer the Nuggets like Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown, but some people believe that this move might be just a way of making the Knicks offer more for Melo.

If the NBA trade deadline passes and Carmelo Anthony is still in Denver, the Knicks will benefit more than any team involved in these trade talks as they can just sign the All-Star without giving up any of their young players like Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari. So with that being said, the Knicks seem to be just waiting to see how things pan out, but if Melo ends up in Los Angeles they will have missed out an opportunity to bring another superstar to the Big Apple.

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What’s the key to the Thunder’s sudden resurgence?

Ryan Ward - A true Lakers Fan

Staff Writer: Ryan Ward

The Thunder will make their first playoff appearance in its young existence. Oklahoma City is currently the sixth seed in the west but are locked in a three-way battle with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. Well, it doesn’t really matter what seed they will end up in because the Thunder are young, athletic and skilled, which makes them a very dangerous first-round opponent.

Obviously, their success can be attributed by the sudden explosion of Kevin Durant. Durant went from rising star last season to an MVP candidate. He will likely win his first scoring title this season. Forward Jeff Green is averaging 15 points a ball game and Russell Westbrook is having a career year. These three young guns are a big reason why the Thunder find themselves in the playoffs.

It’s their offense that gets a lot of recognition, but its actually the Thunder’s defense which makes them dangerous. The Thunder allows only 97.6 points a game, which is good enough for 11th in the league. There’s not one individual on Oklahoma City that is a great defender. But as a team the Thunder are a cohesive, effective defensive unit.

Against the highest scoring team in the league, the Phoenix Suns, the Thunder held them to their lowest scoring output in the second half – the Suns scored only 34 points. The young Oklahoma City Thunder also held the Suns under 100 points. Two-time MVP Steve Nash and All-star Amar’e Stoudemire were forced into committing five combined turnovers.

All you need to know about what the Thunder defense did to the Suns offense is this: the Suns shot 58 percent in first and second quarters. After that, Phoenix shot only 31 percent. Durant and Green had seven steals – amazing considering they are both forwards.

This years Thunder reminds us much of last seasons Portland Trail Blazers. Exciting crowd, budding superstar in Durant (in the Blazers case Brandon Roy), and a core group of young talented guys. All of this resulted in first-round fodder.

Durant, in particular, had no turnovers on his way to scoring 35 points. It’s been a joy to watch Durant this season. There are already talks that is he the second best player in the league – yes, in front of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard. This statement might be a reach considering Durant has played at this level for only one season. Plus, greatness can’t be measured during the season, it is seen where it counts – in the playoffs.

Durant and the Thunder will get the opportunity to prove exactly that as they make their first playoff appearance in history.

Coach K to the New Jersey Nets?

Ryan Ward - A true Lakers Fan

Staff Writer:  Ryan Ward

The Duke Blue Devils are coming off their fourth NCAA National Championship in the school’s history. Over the past 20 years or so the Blue Devils have been amongst the best college basketball programs in the country as they always seem to drawing great players and of course have one of the best head coaches in the history of college basketball in Coach K.

No matter how many times head coach of a big game college basketball program says that they do not want to coach on the next level they always get offers and are surrounded constantly with speculation about future coaching in the NBA.

There has been no coach in college basketball that has been more sought after than the Duke Blue Devils Mike Krzyzewski has all sorts of teams from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Jersey Nets and I’m get their hands on Coach K.

Before Phil Jackson decided to come back to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was doing all he could do to bring in Coach K. as he almost convinced Kobe to pass on the NBA and play at Duke.

Not only has Coach K. been successful with great basketball players in their transition to the NBA, but he’s also had success coaching some of the league’s best players as he was the coach of the Redeem team that brought back the gold medal two summers ago.

So as if it’s not impressive enough that Coach K. has the respect of his college players every single season, he also has respect of the league’s best players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Needless to say, all of these players would love to have a coach like Mike Krzyzewski, but unfortunately it seems as though he is more than satisfied with his college basketball program and after winning a fourth national title who can really blame him.

This season the New Jersey Nets have been by far the worst team in the NBA and are going through serious transition phase some drastic changes on the horizon. They will have a new owner, new coach and if they’re lucky a big name free agent on the roster next season, but as of right now they seem to have their sights set on going after Coach K. to take over the New Jersey Nets moving forward.

Obviously if Coach K. did decide to go coach the New Jersey Nets next season it would have a great impact on some of the players around the league and their decision on what team to play for next year.

With all respect Coach K. garners with the best players in the league, I wouldn’t be surprised to see players like LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade considering signing with the worst team in the league has Coach K. has that much pull to do such a thing and is one of the main reasons he is always offered jobs on the next level.

What can the New Jersey Nets do to improve?

Staff Writer: Jeremiah Ira Yap

The Nets were so close to making the playoffs last year before collapsing late in the season. Point guard Devin Harris arrogantly guaranteed last season that the Nets would be a playoff team – of course Harris jinxed it and the Nets were out of the playoffs.

This year not only are the Nets going to miss the playoffs, but are going to miss it with style. They barely avoided becoming the worst team in the NBA by winning their tenth game on March 29, 2010 against the San Antonio Spurs.

With a lineup featuring All-star point guard Devin Harris, promising guard in Courtney Lee, young center Brook Lopez and talented Chris Douglas-Roberts, one has to wonder why New Jersey is not competing for the last playoff spot in the weak Eastern conference.

Early in the season, the Nets went on a 16-game losing streak and it led to the subsequent firing of coach Lawrence Frank. Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe stepped in as interim head coach and the Nets still produced the same disappointing results.

Finding a big name coach who brings discipline should be the first thing of Nets should do during the summer and not on the prospect of moving to Brooklyn. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and former coach Jeff Van Gandy are possible candidates. But the most recommendable fit would be former Mavs coach Avery Johnson. Harris has already played for Johnson in Dallas and should be comfortable working with him again. Johnson may be known for his controlling methods but discipline is what exactly the Nets need. New Jersey, or possibly Brooklyn next season, don’t have problems scoring – Harris, Lopez and Yi are all capable scorers – but struggle greatly on the defensive end. Johnson may be able to solve that.

The Nets don’t lack any talent, but its evident that they lack leadership. Signing a veteran, one of Derek Fisher’s caliber, will help Harris’ career immensely. New Jersey also doesn’t lack confidence. They played so much better after picking up their tenth win. The pressure was gone and all they did was played. Played like nothing else mattered and it worked. Against the Bulls last night it showed. Terrence Williams notched a triple-double and Brook Lopez scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to deal the Bulls a minor setback in their playoff hopes.

The purchase of the team by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will inject some new blood in the organization. The Nets front office needs a minor overhaul. Possibly, firing Del Harris and letting Vandeweghe go. It’s probably too early to tell if Vandeweghe should be removed from the front office, but this team needs a fresh start.

The Nets are a promising team and could be one of the most surprising next season. Who knows, maybe Nets minority owner Jay-Z and his good friend from Cleveland may have some deal goin’ on that only they know about. If the Nets don’t land number 23, they’ll have to settle for John Wall or Evan Turner. Not exactly a bad deal.

Can the New Jersey Nets avoid being the worst team in NBA history?

Staff Writer for Basketball Betting - A true Lakers Fan

Staff Writer:  Ryan Ward

Every single season in the NBA, you have the elite teams, the playoff teams and the worst teams. Most of the time these teams are the same as elite team stay elite, the playoff teams stay playoff bound and the worst teams are still terrible.

This season we see more of the same as the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are still on top in the West, the Cleveland Cavaliers on top in the East and teams like the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets are playoff bound. One thing that has stayed the same might so bad that it breaks records is that the New Jersey Nets have only won an unbelievable seven games this season.

The worst record in NBA history for a team is only nine wins for an entire 82 game season by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 71-72 season. That is pretty damn pitiful just doesn’t get worse than, at least until this season where there is only 13 games left in the NBA regular season for the New Jersey Nets and have to win at least two of them just to tie the 76ers back in the early 70s.

Most teams would look at the last 13 games of the season, even worst teams in the league, and think that two wins is not all that difficult, but point guard Devin Harris and company will have the daunting task of trying to win just two games and hopefully three to avoid being the worst team in NBA history.

Personally, but I never thought it would say this about a team, but I don’t think I can do it as if they haven’t won nine games at this point this season, they never will in my opinion and deserve to go down in history as the worst team in NBA history.

Here is the New Jersey Nets remaining schedule:

March 22nd Miami Heat Prediction: Loss

March 24th Sacramento Kings Prediction: possible Win, but Loss

March 26th Detroit Pistons Prediction: possible Win, but Loss

March 27th @ Chicago Bulls Prediction: possible Win, but Loss

March 29th San Antonio Spurs Prediction: Loss

March 31st Phoenix Suns Prediction: Loss

April 3rd New Orleans Hornets Prediction: possible Win, Loss

April 4th @ Washington Wizards Prediction: possible Win, Loss

April 7th @ Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Loss

April 9th Chicago Bulls Prediction: Loss

April 10th @ Indiana Pacers Prediction: Win

April 12th Charlotte Bobcats Prediction: possible Win, but Loss

April 14th @ Miami Heat Prediction: Loss

Now the New Jersey Nets aren’t without their opportunities to finish the season so I don’t think they have any excuse at season’s end.

Best chance to avoid NBA history:

Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards

These are very beatable teams right now as none of them are fighting to make the playoffs and are really struggling to finish out the season. The Pistons looked like a playoff bound season before the season started, but fell flat on their face and are playing terrible. The Pacers, much like the Pistons, looked like a playoff team, but have been awful this season. The Wizards traded away any player of value and basically gave up on the year after the Gilbert Arenas ordeal.

The Nets have the chances, they just need to take advantage and for their sake I hope they do.

Is Zydrunas Ilgauskas going to be able to pick up the slack for Shaq?

Staff Writer for Basketball Betting - A true Lakers Fan
Staff Writer: Ryan Ward

There is no doubt that the Cleveland Cavaliers are arguably one of the best teams in the NBA right now, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are right there, maybe even above the Cavs in terms of best all around team, but LeBron James and company have the best record and look to make a run NBA title.

The one glaring problem for the Cleveland Cavaliers right now is the lack of a big men in the paint which is extremely ironic considering the fact that GM Danny Ferry made a point of it in the off-season to address their problem guarding Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard in the paint by trading for Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns.

Just recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a huge splash in the NBA trade market by landing versatile forward Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards. This move was without a doubt a turn in the right direction for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are favorites to come out of the Eastern conference and into the NBA finals, but they suffered a huge blow recently has Shaq went down with an injury that will keep him out 6 to 8 weeks which is the rest of the NBA regular season.

Not only is not having Shaq a huge blow to the defense and the paint presence for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Shaq might not even be healthy by the time he gets back which could affect the Cavs chances in the playoffs.
Obviously, the Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of talent on this team to make up for the void left by Shaq, but how do you replace a 7 foot monster like Shaquille O’Neal?

The only play the Cleveland Cavaliers have at the moment is give more time to youngster J.J. Hickson which isn’t a bad idea as he is playing extremely well the moment and looks to be one for most promising young big men in the game.

With Hickson playing at position, the Cavs risk young kid suffering injury and getting Cleveland into even more trouble come playoff time.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers they can’t re-sign their former center Zydrunas Ilgauskas until 30 days after Washington Wizards have released him which isn’t for a little while longer.

Once Big Z gets back in the lineup, the question of whether or not he can pick up the slack for an absence Shaquille O’Neal will be asked time and time again.
Over the past two years Big Z has done just fine playing center for the Cleveland Cavaliers and should fill the void nicely, but the physicality that Shaq brings his are replaceable and could be something that Cavs are sorely lacking in the second half of the NBA season as a way for the big fella the comeback healthy.

One thing that Big Z has that Shaq doesn’t is a good outside shot and the ability to draw the defense out of the paint opposed to into it. With that being said, LeBron James might start to put up some big time numbers in the coming weeks as the lane will be wide open for him to do what he does best!