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NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

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NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

SOMERSET, N.J. -- President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes and brought swift condemnation from league executives and star players alike on Saturday.

Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Trump's comments in a Friday night speech and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation's top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a "bum."

Trump started by announcing that Curry, the immensely popular two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, would not be welcome at the White House for the commemorative visit traditionally made by championship teams after Curry indicated he didn't want to come. Later, Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night -- that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired.

The Warriors said it was made clear to them that they were not welcome at the White House.

Curry had said he did not want to go anyway, but the Warriors had not made a collective decision before Saturday -- and had planned to discuss it in the morning before the president's tweet, to which coach Steve Kerr said : "Not surprised. He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him."

Others had far stronger reactions (see full story).

Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder
NEW YORK - Carmelo Anthony won't be at Knicks training camp after all. He'll be in Oklahoma City, joining Russell Westbrook and Paul George in a loaded lineup.

The Knicks agreed to trade Anthony to the Thunder on Saturday, saving themselves a potentially awkward reunion next week with the player they'd been trying to deal since last season.

New York will get Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

The Knicks had said just a day earlier that they expected Anthony to be there when they reported for camp Monday. But it was clear they didn't want him anymore and he no longer wanted to be in New York, where he arrived with so much hype that was never fulfilled in February 2011.

He rarely had a championship core around him in New York but jumps right into one in Oklahoma City along with Westbrook, the NBA MVP, and fellow All-Star George, who was acquired from Indiana this summer.

Anthony will see his old teammates soon: The Knicks open the regular season at Oklahoma City on Oct. 19 (see full story).

Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

With the NBA trade deadline nearly upon us — 3 p.m. Thursday — here is the latest on Jahlil Okafor. (We'll update this with news on Okafor throughout the afternoon.)

• The Bulls are still pushing to acquire Okafor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Chicago has been one of the rumored destinations for weeks — in fact, the Bulls were reported as a suitor for Okafor before the Pelicans, Blazers and Pacers.

• What's the hold-up? According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls "have shown no inclination to this point of including" their first-round pick, along with a player, which is what the Sixers have been seeking for Okafor.

Johnson notes that forward Nikola Mirotic is available. Mirotic, 26, is a restricted free agent after the season. With Ersan Ilyasova traded to Atlanta Wednesday night, perhaps the Sixers could look at Mirotic as a backup four to Dario Saric. The Sixers would need more in return than just Mirotic.

Mirotic's value is in his outside shooting — he's a 6-foot-10 forward who made 39 percent of his threes last season. But his numbers have dipped across the board this season and he's shooting just 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.

• According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Okafor's preferred landing spot is Chicago, his hometown.

Obviously, it's not up to Jah — the Sixers will go with whichever offer is best.

Jahil Okafor trade could hinge on Bulls' pursuit of another 1st-round pick

Jahil Okafor trade could hinge on Bulls' pursuit of another 1st-round pick

Players or picks? If you're the Sixers, which makes more sense for Jahlil Okafor? (Both is indeed an option.)

Basketball Insiders' Michael Scotto reported Monday afternoon that the Chicago Bulls are shopping either Robin Lopez or Doug McDermott for a first-round pick. 

That's meaningful to the Sixers because the Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans have been the most cited teams in Okafor trade rumors.

Chicago could be attempting to land another first-round pick to sweeten an offer for Okafor, especially if Lopez, a center, is the player moved.

The Bulls' roster doesn't offer much of intrigue. McDermott can shoot, Denzel Valentine and Nikola Mirotic are interesting pieces, but they're not difference-making talents who get the juices flowing.

A first-round pick, though, or a package that includes a pick now and in the future, could get Bryan Colangelo to pull the trigger.

Chicago currently owns two 2017 first-round picks: their own and Sacramento's top-10 protected pick. If the season ended today, the Kings would pick 10th (thus keeping it) and the Bulls would pick 16th.

It would make sense if the Sixers want to choose their own return for Okafor, which they could do with a draft pick but not with someone like McDermott. 

Is McDermott even really an upgrade? The Sixers' second unit already has Nik Stauskas/Gerald Henderson at the two and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at the three. They also sometimes play Ersan Ilyasova and Dario Saric together. McDermott would fit this roster better than Okafor does just because he offers the skill of shooting, but the Sixers may find an even better fit in the form of a first-round pick in the 15 to 20 range.