Morning Shootaround

Shootaround (Aug. 1) -- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks reportedly at trade stalemate

NBA.com Staff

This morning’s headlines:

* * *

Report: Anthony wishes to only waive no-trade clause for Rockets — As has been the case since he re-signed with the New York Knicks in 2014, Carmelo Anthony has all the power in any hopes the Knicks have in trading him. While it’s still unknown what Anthony will do should the Knicks present him with trades, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Anthony would only waive his no-trade clause for a trade to Houston:

In the next few days, Anthony will have a chance to speak his piece.

Phil Jackson is out as president, but the franchise’s strategy hasn’t changed much. A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.

The Knicks’ management tandem of Steve Mills-Scott Perry claim it won’t trade Anthony to Houston unless it cobbles together a solid deal that makes sense for the Knicks’ future. Nothing has materialized.

In fact, a source told The Post the signing of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions partly was due to him connecting better with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than did Derrick Rose, who left for Cleveland via free agency.

Hooking up with his buddies Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston has become Anthony’s priority. Even the prospect of playing again for former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has not deterred Anthony, who rebelled against his speed-ball offense and reliance on Jeremy Lin, leading to the coach’s resignation in 2012.

Dan D’Antoni, the former Knicks assistant, told The Post on Monday his brother will be able to move on from the rancor in New York.

“There were a lot of things that went wrong, but Carmelo is a heckuva player,’’ Dan D’Antoni said. “All I’m saying is Mike’s a good person. He understands people change, things change. Two things you can’t deny: Mike’s a helluva coach. Carmelo is a very good player. If those two see eye-to-eye, Mike and I are always optimistic things are meant to be. The next day is going to be better than the day before.”

The Rockets dangled Ryan Anderson’s contract in multi-team packages but found no takers.

General manager Daryl Morey stockpiled a handful of non-guaranteed pacts to apply to an Anthony trade for mathematical purposes but Sunday released one of those players, Jarrod Uthoff, who had $200,000 due this week if he remained on the roster. Shawn Long, Tim Quarterman and Isaiah Taylor are still non-guaranteed chips on Houston’s roster.

Anthony can only hope those guys will be on the move soon.

* * *

Morey: Could argue for ending NBA awards — For as great of a season as Houston Rockets star James Harden had, he ultimately fell 135 votes short of winning the Kia MVP (which went to Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook). That marked the second time Harden played runner-up in MVP voting and in a recent interview with SI.com’s Ben Golliver, Rockets GM Daryl Morey made the case that perhaps NBA awards should be done away with:

In a phone interview Saturday, Rockets GM Daryl Morey raised questions about the MVP voting process, which involves a panel of 100 media members casting their votes at the end of the regular season.

“I don’t know if this is a good process,” Morey told The Crossover. “The ones that are decided by players or executives or media, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I honestly don’t think there’s a good process. You could argue for eliminating the awards altogether. I don’t really see a good way to do it that doesn’t have major issues. I like clean answers. If there’s not going to be a set criteria and there’s going to be issues with how it’s structured, for me it might be better to not have it.”

At the root of Morey’s complaints over the voting system is an alleged inconsistency in logic between the two races. In 2015, some analysts argued for Curry over Harden because Golden State had a superior record. In 2017, Harden’s Rockets won 55 games, easily surpassing the Thunder’s 47 wins. Back in April, prior to the official MVP vote, Morey wrote on Twitter that basketball “is losing its focus on winning” before appearing to take a subliminal shot at Westbrook’s rebounding numbers.

“We thought James was the MVP but there were a bunch of very good, deserving candidates,” Morey continued, before making an apparent reference to Westbrook’s triple-double achievement. “I didn’t like how a different MVP criteria was used this year, compared to the last 55 years, to fit more of a marketing slogan. People thought a different criteria for selecting the MVP this year was the way to go.”

“Given that the criteria seems to be shifting away from winning, I would guess that [adding Paul] probably doesn’t help anyone’s chances on our team,” Morey acknowledged. “That said, I don’t think anybody really cares [going forward]. James definitely cared and I think we all cared [about the 2017 MVP]. But we’ve moved on since the award isn’t focused on winning any more. Let’s just win and not worry about it.”

Hours after the story was published by SI.com, LA Clippers star Blake Griffin took to Twitter and had a rebuttal of sorts for Morey …

* * *

Van Gundy: Playoffs are ‘expectation’ in 2017-18 — The Pistons seemed to be on their way back into the Eastern Conference’s upper crust after a run to the playoffs in 2015-16. However, a mediocre start to last season coupled with a horrible run through March kept Detroit out of the postseason. As Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports, Van Gundy wants his team back in the postseason come 2017-18:

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said the playoffs are the “expectation” after the team introduced new-look jerseys last week at the downtown Nike store.

“That would certainly be the expectation, no question about that,” Van Gundy said when asked about the playoffs.

“I think from me, our staff and all of our players, that’s where we expect to be, but you don’t want to get ahead of yourselves.”

With point guard Reggie Jackson’s knee problem and players seemingly stagnating, the Pistons fell to 37-45 last season, four games out of playoff spot.

The team has added shooting and skill with guards Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard. The Pistons finished last in true shooting percentage last season, a stat that takes into account field goal and free-throw shooting.

But the work is ongoing and in September players start to return to the practice facility.

“There’s a lot of work to be done and right now it’s a matter of guys putting in their work in the summer, getting in great shape and coming back here in September ready to go,” Van Gundy said. “It’s trying to come together and build some chemistry with new guys and everything else. It’s just a step-by-step thing, and I think last year we lost track of that a little bit.”

* * *

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Jazz, Thunder and Suns will host teams from the Australian National Basketball League in the preseason … Take a gander at all the new Nike team uniforms for the 2017-18 season that have been unveiled so far … Nine squads who could be next in line as a ‘superteam’ in the NBA … The Pacers have reportedly waived center Kevin Seraphin … Shane Larkin is back in the NBA again, having reached a deal with the Celtics … The Bucks made it official and re-signed swingman Tony Snell

Latest