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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Carmelo Struggled To Choose Between Knicks, Bulls

Carmelo Anthony ultimately decided between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. Anthony added that he believes the Knicks aren't too far away from becoming a contender.

"I want to win. I don't care about the money," Anthony told ESPN.com. "I believe Phil (Jackson) will do what he has to do to take care of that."

"I don't think we're that far away," he added. "People use 'rebuilding' too loosely."

Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million deal to remain with the Knicks.

"It was overwhelming," Anthony said. "It was stressful in the final days, one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."

Anthony said, though, it ultimately came down to New York and Chicago.

"I was flip-flopping," he admitted. "It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago -- and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That's a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years."

Via Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Parsons Left Rockets In Part For Bigger Role

Chandler Parsons may have been motivated to leave the Houston Rockets for a bigger role.

James Harden believes the Rockets won't take a step back despite losing Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason.

"Dwight and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets," Harden said while appearing at a charity event in the Philippines, according to The Philippine Star. "The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We've lost some pieces and added some pieces.

"I think we'll be fine next season."

Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last season.

"That's a pretty ridiculous statement if he meant that," Parsons said. "That's part of the reason I wanted to go to Dallas, because I'm ready for that next step. I'm ready for a bigger role, and I'm ready for more leadership.

"If anybody should understand that, it's James, because he was in the same situation in Oklahoma City and then he got his chance to come to Houston and shine. I'm not real sure what that means."

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Dwight Howard: Chandler Parsons' Departure Won't Affect Rockets At All

Dwight Howard believes that Chandler Parsons' departure from the Houston Rockets will not have a major impact on the team next season.

"It won't affect us at all," Howard said. "We have myself and James. We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It's on us."

Parsons spent three years as the Rockets' starter at small forward. He signed a three-year, $46 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

Howard praised the Rockets' addition of Trevor Ariza.

"He'll go through a wall for you," Howard said of Ariza, who was his teammate on the Orlando Magic. "Just to have soldiers on your team like that is great. We have that one-two punch with me and James. We're filling out our roster with guys who are willing to go through that wall and doing whatever it takes to win."

Via Associated Press

Jackson Believes Bargnani Will Bring Value In Knicks' New System

While Phil Jackson attempted to trade Andrea Bargnani this offseason, he believes he can have value on the floor this season for the New York Knicks.

"He's overlooked. We think he's going to really do well in the system we have," Jackson said of Bargnani. "We have a couple of guards he likes to play with, Jose (Calderon) and Pablo (Prigioni), and I think he's going to be a surprise and a pleasant one for our fans."

The Knicks traded for Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors last offseason.

Via Peter Botte/New York Daily News

Rival Execs Split On Whether Cavs Should Trade Wiggins For Love

Jeff Goodman polled 12 NBA executives about whether the Cleveland Cavaliers should offer Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love. The results were 7-5 in favor of the Cavaliers keeping Wiggins.

"Love is so overrated. He's never won," one NBA executive said. "I'd wait if I was Cleveland. I wouldn't involve Wiggins in a trade for Love."

"Wiggins is going to be really good in time," added an NBA general manager. "Right now he can shoot and defend. Playing off LeBron and Kyrie [Irving] will take a lot of the pressure off him in the present. He could become a go-to scorer in a few years."

"Star potential on rookie scale deal for four years," another GM added.

The personnel in favor of the Cavaliers trading for Love expressed how they could become instant title contenders with Love instead of Wiggins.

"Why wait on Wiggins when Love makes them better now," one assistant GM said. "And if you don't get Love now, he's going to be a Laker next summer."

"I know what Love can do. He's a proven commodity, plus his game meshes with LeBron's," one NBA scout said.

Via Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Curry: Warriors Have Become 'Enticing' Destination

Stephen Curry sees the Golden State Warriors' involvement in discussions for Kevin Love and as a possibility for LeBron James as a symbol of how the franchise has come over the past few years.

“For me, I think it’s just the testament to just where our organization is,” Curry said Saturday at his basketball camp at Stevenson School. “We’re an enticing place to play, and I think free agents understand that and people around the league understand that we are about winning.

“We have a great fan base, the best fan base in the world. Oracle Arena is a great place to play, and we’re on the rise as an organization. So for us to be in the conversations with a Kevin Love or a LeBron or whoever, I mean that’s something we probably were shoved to the side on those kind of conversations. That’s a good feeling knowing that we’ve done a lot and have a lot more to do.”

Curry said he would let the situation play out rather than make a recruiting call to James.

“I don’t think four years ago if LeBron was a free agent anybody would ask him, ‘What about the Warriors?’” Curry said. “So it’s kind of funny.”

Via Diamond Leung/San Jose Mercury News

Hinkie Saw Opportunity To Draft Embiid As Soon As Injury News Surfaced

The Philadelphia 76ers would have likely drafted Andrew Wiggins had Joel Embiid not suffered a foot injury that will require surgery.

"I sniffed opportunity the moment it happened, the moment it happened," Sam Hinkie said on Friday. "The moment he got hurt, we thought we might get him, and we might be the organization with just the set of owners, and we might be the one to do it."

Embiid could miss his entire rookie season, just as Nerlens Noel did for the 76ers last year.

"I've seen reported by some 4 to 6 months [for Embiid to be sidelined]," Hinkie said. "I don't know where they came from. That's not the number that I heard from the surgeon himself; it's 5 to 8 months. Guess what our approach will be? We will focus on the health of the player. We've had this discussion before. I don't want that to sound glib, because it's not. It is all that matters, the long-term health of the player. Will we be smart about that? Of course. Will we be thoughtful about that? I hope so. Will we be patient? Yes, yes. We will focus on giving him a chance to be as healthy as he can be, to have the kind of career that he can have. If he can be healthy - and we think there is a very, very good chance - if he can be healthy he can have a very productive NBA career."

Hinkie will continue to take the longview in building the 76ers.

"I've been here 13 months and I think we've been pretty consistent on what we've been focused on during that time," Hinkie said. "We want to add more and more talent and bring in more and more players and help us move forward with a goal of really trying to build something that can be championship-caliber. That doesn't happen overnight. We've been really open about that. We couldn't have predicted very well at 7:40 [Thursday] night what might have happened at the third pick and exactly who might be there and who might not, and we couldn't have predicted very well at all who was going to be there at the 10th pick at that moment, because there's so many factors in the marketplace that you have to figure out what they'd do to leave you with the set of options that you're left with. We focus on trying to make all the best decisions that we can, and we'll see where that takes us.

"We took a couple of 20-year-olds [Thursday] night. It's very clear that we're going to be growing with them. We talked about that with Michael [Carter-Williams] a year ago when we said that we felt like this is a player that we can grow with, and we still feel that way. We feel that he's a player that we can grow with."

Via Bob Cooney/Philadelphia Daily News

Smart Feels He Fits Alongside Rondo, Ready To Learn From Him

Marcus Smart had a feeling the Boston Celtics were leaning towards taking him with the sixth pick if he was still available.

“Actually, I did,” Smart admitted when asked if he felt the Celtics liked him. “I worked out for Boston twice. So I’ve talked with Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens a lot. They told me they were very interested in me, and if I was still on the board, there’s a chance they might pick me.”

The Celtics already have a point guard in Rajon Rondo, but Smart feels he can play alongside Rondo and also learn from him.

“Rondo is a wonderful point guard, a wonderful player. He reminds me a little bit of me. He plays defense. He’s long, his wing span, and he has big hands,” Smart said. "Just being able to learn from a guy who’s been in the league and been in my seat and my situation. It’s an amazing feeling and a great opportunity.”

Stevens and his coaching staff have decisions to make, especially with Avery Bradley in the mix as well, but Smart isn’t bothered by the fact that he may no step into a starting role.

“No, not at all,” Smart said. “I understand that you got to come in, you’ve got to earn your spot and earn your keep. That’s who I am. I like to earn things, and I work hard to get where I’m at. That’s what I’m going to continue doing."

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Jabari Parker Happy With Bucks, Wants To ‘Stick With One Team’

It was no secret that the Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker shared mutual interest and the relationship became official on Thursday when the club drafted him with the No. 2 pick.

Parker smiled when the Cleveland Cavaliers took Andrew Wiggins first overall, and new Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens spent time at the player’s table in the green room prior to the pick.

“I was just going off what I was given,” Parker said when reminded that he said Wednesday that he expected to be in Milwaukee. “They told me that they’re all in. I can’t go in with any accusations of teams not telling me anything. I just went from what was accurate.”

Parker, who is a Chicago native, will play relatively close to home. He has yet to even put on a Bucks jersey, but moments after being drafted he pledged his allegiance to the rebuilding franchise.

“They’re a young team. I feel like I can contribute right off the bat,” Parker said. “I feel like I’m going to be able to grow with that organization, and I’m trying to be a throwback player, only stick with one team.

“This might bite me in the butt years from now, but right now I just want to stick with whoever’s rolling with me."

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Noah Vonleh Ready To Play In Pick-And-Roll With Walker

Noah Vonleh saw his draft position slide a bit on Thursday night, but was still a top-10 selection as the Charlotte Hornets took him ninth overall.

Vonleh, who told RealGM on Wednesday that he has been working on extending his range as an adjustment to the NBA, believes he fits in very well with Charlotte’s current roster.

“I think I can definitely complement [Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker], playing in the pick-and-roll with Kemba, being able to pop, hit the shot from 18 feet, step out, hit some NBA threes, catch the ball, be able to take guys off the dribble, and just use my versatility to the best of my abilities,” Vonleh said after he was drafted.

Vonleh didn’t work out for the Hornets, so he was humbled to have essentially been drafted by Michael Jordan.

“It’s a great feeling being able to be picked by the greatest to play the game,” Vonleh said. “He obviously saw something in me. I didn’t even come into Charlotte to work out, so I guess I was the best available on the board, and he saw something in me. They ended up choosing me, so I’m very blessed and excited."

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Dante Exum, Agent Didn’t Think He’d Fall To Jazz At No. 5

Dante Exum touts his experience in Australia's two-point guard system in going to the Jazz.
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