Nets Try to Focus on Basketball

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – What’s been lost in the Carmelo Anthony news is that the New Jersey Nets began training camp on Saturday, holding two-a-day sessions over the weekend. So while we wonder where Anthony is going and how he could possibly face the Denver media on Monday, Avery Johnson‘s trying to get his team focused on basketball.

With a new coaching staff and 13 new players in the gym, every practice is important. There’s a new offense, new defensive principles and new teammates to learn.

Johnson won’t discuss any rumors, so while his team was in the middle of Sunday’s morning session, Nets general manager Billy King answered questions from the media. Unable to talk about any specific players or teams, King didn’t have much to say.

“We’re exploring everything, but there is no deal,” King said.

Multiple reports in the last 24 hours have the reported four-way trade either on hold or falling apart. But King characterized all the news that is out there as “comical.”

“When you’re in the know of any situation and you read or hear, it’s comical where it all goes, and all the different directions,” he said.

Still, it’s very possible that the Nets will begin the season with their current roster. And it sounded like King was preparing for that possibility.

“I’m going to plug away at this and other things to make us better,” King said, “but I’m also going to focus on what’s going on on the court, because what’s going on on the court has been pretty good the last couple of days.”

And when he was asked if he would have the same roster on Monday as he did this morning, King said only, “Could be.”

Johnson admitted that this is not the ideal way to start training camp.

“That’s the thing about coaching and playing,” the coach said. “You’ve got to be able to adjust. Things happen. Guys get phone calls.”

Devin Harris has dealt with trade rumors before. The trade that brought him to New Jersey from Dallas went back and forth for several days before it became finalized.

Derrick Favors, however, is just 19 years old, having yet to play a minute of NBA basketball. So he’s going into every practice wondering if it will be his last with the Nets. Johnson said he spoke to the rookie before practice and that Favors is “in the right frame of mind.”

Fifteen-year veteran Joe Smith is here to advise the rookie, but says that Favors “hasn’t said anything about it.”

“These guys are being professional about it,” Smith said of his new team. “There hasn’t been too much talk in our locker room.”

Brook Lopez apparently isn’t checking twitter and the web for the latest.

“I, for one, have no idea what’s going on,” Lopez said.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

35 Comments

  1. gbro3 says:

    i get tired of reading idiotic posts. 1) if melo gets traded he wont be a free agent because no one in there right mind would give up players for one season. 2) melo will be traded if he doesnt sign the three year extention, if the nuggets dnt trade him then they will be left in the situation that cleveland is in now. 3) New Jersey will be terrible even if they get melo, because they basically givin up their whole team for one player

  2. Josh says:

    I hope Miami does terrible. Jordan didn’t call up Larry Byrd and Magic Johnson and say lets get together and be a dynasty. Lebron is a trader. I hope he goes to the number 1 hated athlete instead of number 6.

  3. heat fan says:

    melo should play his last year out and choose 2 go where ever he wants 2 go after the season. like his friends n miami go 2 new jersey n play wit lopez n trade? or just wait 2 go 2 new york wit stud? maybe take less money team up with duncan n parker. teams will dump salaries 2 get melo. next summer melo can have an hour long show with espn. but it will be a major setback 4 him 2 join a franchise no where as good as the 1 hes leaving.

  4. MISMO says:

    Houston should get MELO

  5. lucyfear says:

    @jacob- pag sure uy!!! i think yi jianlian is not in NJ anymore he is now in DC bro.

  6. Jacob From Romania says:

    With this team the Nets may actually catch the playoffs: Yi Jianlian , Carmelo Anthony , Derrick Favors , Devin Harris. I am excited.

  7. Aussie23 says:

    Nets don’t do it! They have a makings of a great side Lopez, harris, favours, williams just let them develop with a very good coach. Melo is a gun no doubt! But not worth giving up the future of the nets. They could build an identy before the move and maybe even pick up melo & paul from free agency. Favours could be an absolute gun & lets be honest the nets haven’t had a power forward since K-mart left. Take a leaf from the thunder let the kids develop.

  8. vIPER says:

    @vicious

    Its not the all-star teamate that he wants.. carmelo is looking for a big market city… An all-star in that city would be a plus to him..thats why he really wants chicago and new york!

  9. specialfriedrice says:

    if melo is that keen to go to nj he should play out this season in denver and sign with nj as a fa, giving up favours and harris leaves the nets with lopez and melo, stupid, lopez, harris, favours and melo together could be quite a good team for a few years, he would be mad not to wait it out

    • rico says:

      He would, His plans are not to be traded, he wants his contract to run out but the nuggets won’t let him play another season without him signing an extention. So if he is to leave, it will only be by means of trade cause nuggest want to get something out of losing melo.

  10. Looking back at this trade 5 years from now, the bobcats will be viewed as the winners. Harris for Diaw? genius. And the Nets, will still be where they are, maybe a little bit above .500, thats about it. Good move Charlotte, MJ.

    • rico says:

      well your making haris seem like a GOD or something. nets won what? 14 games with that guy last year he aint nothing special. Sure he can score but this league is deep with PG’s. would you honestly want harris over Rondo, daron williams, steave nash, J kidd, Rose, Parker, Paul, Billups, Arenas, Wall,Jennings………….maybe more but my point is made, If you can’t be a top 10 for 1 position then what rank do you think you would be overal? And you say bobcats would be the winneers when the net get melo.. a top 10 player and arguably top 5. You must of forgoten how big of an impact melo was to the nuggets. That team was crap before they got him thats how they got the 3rd pick in the first place and he took them to the playoffs his first season in the western confrence which was tough as hell back then I may add. So I think lil dude the net would do a good bit better than a lil ova 500 kthanksbye.

  11. Jayce_C says:

    I hope the trade happens only for Charlotte the Nets can have melo if Charlotte gets Harris

  12. vicious bucking horse says:

    i tried the this 3way trade involving denver, new orleans,and detroit on trade machine and the salaries work..

    detroit would get:
    renaldo balkman
    arron afflalo
    david west
    emeka okafor
    willie green
    jason smith

    denver would get:
    austin daye
    rip hamilton
    jason maxiell
    dajuan summers

    new orleans would get:
    carmelo anthony
    charlie villanueva
    jonas jerebko

    i know this trade is one sided but this would grant melo’s wish to play with an all-star(paul) plus both of them won’t be disgruntled anymore.. denver on the other hand would get an all-star in hamilton and also youth prospects(daye, summers) who all plays the forward position.. detroit would get an all-star in west while disposing hamilton, which they have been trying to do for quite some time, and pretty much make them deeper at every position.. just saying, feel free to judge and your say..

    • huge win for new orleans…they get melo and young talent?? If this trade magically happens, New orleans are back in it again.

      • rico says:

        yeah yeah once again seeing as melo and the nuggets head office dont see eye to eye, I don’t think they will try to make a deal in melo’s interest much less would they want to create a super team in the west to copete against.

  13. martin says:

    What ever happened to honor? Carmelo Anthony’s agents are DIS-HONORABLE people.
    If a man has a contractual agreement he lives up to it, period.

    Having said that, If the KNICKS is where Carmelo wants to go… I think the NUGGETS should try to make it work for him as long as it does not hurt the NUGGETS franchise. The DENVER franchise is worth a thousand Carmelo Anthony’s or any other individual player. No player in the history of the game is worth more than the franchise or the city he plays for, that’s simply ridiculous.
    NUGGETS trade Carmelo Anthony, Reynaldo Balkman to the KNICKS for Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, Toney Douglas and Eddie Curry + (2) 1st RD. picks. I think this is fair considering it’s not the NUGGETS who want the trade but Carmelo who is under contract.

    • rico says:

      If he wants to leave I don’t think they should hurt there heads trying to put him somwere HE wants to go, unless ny players are the best that they could manage. If they can find a better deal in new jersey let thim go for it and let melo bare 1 contract season with new jersy before he can opt out and go were he wants. But he is under contract so were he goes is not his decision.

      • tingyman says:

        new jersey is not willing to take melo without melo signing a contract extension, because they arent sure if melo will walk out on them. That being said, melo actually has a lot of power in this trade, as he can refuse to sign a contract extension for any team other than the knicks.

  14. LUKE lobs says:

    it would be a really good look for the Nets if they get Melo even if they had to get rid of Devin Harris and favors i believe they would be in the playoffs if this deal goes down.

  15. Magic says:

    BUT THIS YEAR IS ORLANDO MAGIC’S YEAR SO THE CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO ORLANDO

  16. Magic says:

    right melo is a sure thing

  17. Utahman says:

    The only winner in this rade is the Bobcats, Can’t Utah just make the trade with Denver?

  18. Alex says:

    CARMELO SHOULD GO TO THE NETS! i think that they could put together a championship calibur team with him. For as long as i’ve followed the NBA i have seen most of the rookie prospects turn into busts, like Greg Oden. I would risk favors for Melo. But only if he wanted to come to the nets, i dont want him doing to us in 4 years what he’s doing to denver now.