30 teams in 30 days: Beginning of the Porzingis era


30 teams in 30 days: Beginning of the Porzingis era

We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony may still be on the New York Knicks’ payroll, but it’s clear that his days with the team are numbered.

On the Knicks’ website promoting season ticket packages for this upcoming season, there’s no sign of Melo anywhere.

And in a blog post by Knicks President Steve Mills, Melo’s name isn’t mentioned at all.

Regardless of whether Anthony is on the roster when training camp opens, this season will mark the beginning of Kristaps Porzingis’ reign as the face of the franchise.

The 7-foot-3 big man is coming off a strong season in which he averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in addition to shooting 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Porzingis, 22, has shown the ability to be effective both around the rim as well as on the perimeter. And the Knicks have made a conscious effort to surround him with the kind of talent that can take some of the scoring pressure off his shoulders which will be immense after the Knick, as expected, trade away Anthony.

New York signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $70.95 million contract after he averaged a career-high 14.5 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the field last season – also a career high – with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks also signed NBA veteran Michael Beasley, who set career highs last season with the Milwaukee Bucks in shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

As much as the Knicks would love to win big right now, they understand that turning this franchise around will not happen overnight.

“What we do and how we proceed, even in the pressurized atmosphere of New York, must be grounded in a core philosophy and a guiding vision,” Mills said. “As the organization’s new president, that is my most important management role — to keep my eye on the big picture, to ensure that everything we do locks into our overall strategy.”

Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Atlanta); Michael Beasley (Milwaukee); Ramone Sessions (Charlotte).

Key losses: Derrick Rose (Cleveland); Brandon Jennings (Shanxi of Chinese Basketball Association); Sasha Vujacic (free agent).

Rookies of note: Frank Ntilikina.

Expectations: 33-49 (fourth in the Atlantic Division, 11th in the East)

Report: Celtics waive forward Abdel Nader

Report: Celtics waive forward Abdel Nader

The Celtics have waived swingman Abdel Nader, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports. It opens up a roster spot perhaps for Jabari Bird or another player who impressed in Summer League play.

Nader, 24, a native of Egypt, was a second-round pick in 2016 (58th overall). The 6-6 guard/small forward averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds and shot 33.6 percent (35.4 from 3) in 48 games last season, his first in the NBA.  He's still owed $450,000 but the rest of his contract was non-guaranteed. 



Hayward looks just about ready in latest video

Hayward looks just about ready in latest video

Gordon Hayward told our Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely earlier this week that "I'm just about full speed" (see video above) as he recovers from the devastating injury that derailed his season five minutes into his Celtics debut.

As if to prove it, Hayward posted an Instagram video that shows his surgically repaired ankle appearing to hold up pretty well as he hits a series of step-back and turnaround jumpers working with skills coach Drew Hanlen and finishes with him sinking 18 consecutive 3-pointers and counting.

It's on to five-on-five work next month. 

Click here for more on Blakely's exclusive one-on-one interview with Hayward.