Nets hope to also land Miller in ‘Melo deal

The New Jersey Nets are hoping to sell Carmelo Anthony(notes) on their future by also acquiring point guard Andre Miller(notes), one of his former teammates.

The Nets have continued talks with the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets about the possibility of adding Miller in a multiteam trade that would land them Anthony, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Anthony and Miller were teammates in Denver from 2003-06 and played well together. While reuniting with Miller would be attractive to Anthony, sources continue to insist the Nets would likely need to acquire an additional quality player for Anthony to seriously consider committing to a contract extension with the franchise.

Andre Miller and Carmelo Anthony played together on the Nuggets from 2003-06.
(NBAE/Getty Images)

The Nuggets would likely acquire forwards Derrick Favors(notes) and Troy Murphy(notes) and two first-round picks from the Nets in potential deal. Under one scenario, New Jersey would send point guard Devin Harris(notes) to the Blazers. The roadblock is that the Nuggets also covet the Blazers’ Nicolas Batum(notes), and Portland officials have shown no interest in trading their versatile young forward. Other players and draft picks could also be involved.

“There are some other scenarios, but [Nets general manager] Billy King is really pushing for this,” one NBA executive said. “He is trying to figure out what Denver wants.”

King is still a big fan of Miller, who played for him in Philadelphia.

Denver is attracted to dealing with New Jersey in large part because the Nets have five first-round picks over the next two years.

The Nets discussed a possible deal for Miller during the preseason, but nothing materialized. The Charlotte Bobcats also have had recent conversations with the Blazers about Miller, but the talks haven’t progressed.

Anthony has refused to sign a three-year, $64 million deal with the Nuggets and previously hoped he would be traded to either the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls. If Anthony is moved, don’t expect the Nuggets to be in a rush to trade guard Chauncey Billups(notes), a league source said. Denver could exercise Billups’ $3.7 million contract buyout prior to June 23 and sign him to a longer-term deal at a much smaller salary than the $13.1 million he is making this season.

New day, old face in Charlotte

One of the biggest challenges seemingly facing Paul Silas as the Charlotte Bobcats’ new interim coach is building a constructive relationship with guard Stephen Jackson(notes). Silas, naturally, doesn’t think that will be much of a problem.

Paul Silas

“Jack is a leader and if he is leading in the right way than it’s all going to work itself out,” Silas told Yahoo! Sports. “His grandmother, if you can believe this, told him we’re cousins, we’re related. So we call each other ‘Cuz.’

“Listen, Jack is who is he is. I just don’t think I’m going to have that much of a problem with Jack.”

Jackson arrived in Charlotte last season after clashing with former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson and forcing the team to trade him. He started out well with Larry Brown in Charlotte, but sources said their relationship soured after they had a heated debate in the locker room following a blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks in this season’s opener. Jackson later was suspended by the NBA for a game for verbally abusing referees, and he subsequently wrote a letter apologizing to Bobcats fans for his conduct.

The development of the relationship between Silas and Jackson will be interesting to see. Silas has a no-nonsense reputation and demands respect, but he doesn’t expect to have any trouble with Jackson. Silas’ son, Stephen, helped coach Jackson at Golden State and just joined his father’s staff in Charlotte. Silas’ up-tempo offense also could appeal to Jackson.

“Maybe not this season, but next season if I can get him to the top of his ability running up and down the court and getting it done, he’ll be an All-Star,” Silas said. “He’s All-Star material if he comes with it every night.”

The Bobcats are averaging 91.8 points this season, second-to-last in the league, and the players had grown tired of Brown’s half-court system. Silas’ first practice included six-minute scrimmages with a 14-second shot clock. He said many of the players need to get in better shape if the Bobcats are going to have success running the floor.

“They have not had the luxury of getting up and down the court the way I had them doing it,” Silas said of his first practice. “They were just excited. We got a chance to make the playoffs. We’re [three] games out right now. If things fall into place like I think they will, then we have a legitimate shot.”

No moves for Hawks?

The Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks all made major upgrades to their rosters during the offseason. The Orlando Magic recently followed with a pair of major trades in hopes of improving their chances of winning the Eastern Conference.

Will the Atlanta Hawks be next?

Not yet, at least.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund and coach Larry Drew discussed the team’s trade options during a meeting Monday. But for the time being, the Hawks are patient enough to see how they progress with their current roster, league sources said.

“You always have to look to get better, especially if you’re not of a Laker or Boston character,” Drew said. “…I don’t know that it means that we’re panicking and we do anything. We have to always entertain the fact, ‘Can we do something to make our team better?’ We can never be satisfied and that’s what our upper branch is doing.”

The Hawks are 19-12, despite losing Joe Johnson(notes) for nine games to elbow surgery and Jamal Crawford(notes) for six games. For now, the Hawks have been content to let their young roster grow. Center Al Horford(notes), forwards Josh Smith(notes) and Marvin Williams(notes), guard Jeff Teague(notes) and rookie forwards Jordan Crawford(notes) and Pape Sy(notes) are all 25 or younger.

The Hawks also are confident they have yet to peak after losing in the second round of the playoffs the past two seasons.

“Anything is possible, anything can happen,” Jamal Crawford said. “But they’ve been so committed to the core guys here. Miami made all these changes and Boston made changes. We really stayed pat for the most part.”


Sebastian Telfair
(NBAE/Getty Images)

With Jonny Flynn(notes) now back for the Minnesota Timberwolves, reserve point guard Sebastian Telfair(notes) has drawn trade interest from the Warriors, Knicks and Washington Wizards. …Pistons guard Rip Hamilton is growing increasingly frustrated with his new role coming off the bench and could push for a trade soon, sources said. The Pistons have been open to trading Hamilton for a while, but his contract and age have tempered the interest from potential suitors. …The Los Angeles Clippers have received more phone calls about guard Baron Davis(notes) after a Yahoo! Sports story reported owner Donald Sterling has been heckling Davis from his courtside seat, a league source said. While the Bobcats have shown some interest, most inquiring teams are too worried about Davis’ hefty contract and injury problems to have substantial talks.

Marc Spears is an NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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Updated Friday, Dec 24, 2010