Let’s start with some trade talk – yes the Nets and Nuggets are still talking, but nothing is imminent per GM Billy King.
“You just talk, you just talk and that’s how you get deals done,” King said. “Sometimes you lose games, they change their opinion on your roster … but what I found, the more you’re just persistent and keep talking and keep the lines of communication open, that’s how you get a deal done.”
Meanwhile, for those who think that Carmelo Anthony is better served financially by signing an extension with Denver or another team this season after a trade, Ken Berger of CBS says, think again:
Maybe that is why a person familiar with Anthony’s strategy told me that Melo is fully prepared to spend the entire season in Denver without signing an extension and then take his chances under the new deal.
“Carmelo is not afraid to go into next year and test the CBA,” the person said.
That seems like a bold statement, but in a way, maybe it isn’t. What would be the point of begrudgingly accepting an extension with a team he doesn’t want to play for just to get the money under the current deal when the new deal may very well wipe it out anyway with a rollback?
As for the actual Nets roster, they needed to shed one player to get down to 15 and that player is Brian Zoubek. If you asked me in August who between Zoubek and Ben Uzoh would have made the cut, I would have been fairly certain about Zoubek, but I guess that’s why I’m not an NBA GM.
The other big question is who’s going to line up as the starting PF on Wednesday night. In a display of good news, injured Troy Murphy looks just about ready to begin practicing with the team. However, Ben Couch says don’t be shocked if Kris Humphries gets the call to start on Thursday:
“Humphries was pretty good,” said Nets coach Avery Johnson, after Friday’s practice. “He had his best game this preseason. We’ve tried to identify exactly what we need him to do in this system. I think he clearly understands, and to his credit he went out and executed it. The things we asked him to stay away from doing, he (stayed away from). He and Joe give us a physicality we definitely need.”
I like Hump as a bench player and given the circumstances, he’s probably best suited to start the game with the first unit. Joe Smith is a nice story as the veteran sage helping these kids out, but I can’t envision a scenario where Smith should be getting many minutes, regardless of the injury situation.