NEWS OF THE MORNING
Rockets, Mavs ready their pitches for Anthony | Report: Rose works out for Anthony | Plenty of big names linked to Heat | Livingston gets his payday | Report: Lakers, Gasol have long chat
No. 1: Rockets prep for their ‘Melo pitch, Mavs do too — Stop No. 2 (and 3) on the Carmelo Anthony Wooing Tour heads to Texas today as the Rockets and Mavericks will make their respective bids for the seven-time All-Star. Neither will be holding back anything, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, what with Dwight Howard and James Harden on hand to greet ‘Melo — plus some other bells and whistles, too — in Houston.
UPDATE, 2:22 p.m. ET: The Rockets have begun their wooing of ‘Melo …
As for the stop in Dallas, the Mavs have a five-pronged pitch for Anthony, writes Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
The Rockets did not wait to make their presentation to Knicks free agent forward Carmelo Anthony to get busy with players and their agents, starting with their late-night reunion with former Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry in Philadelphia.
The focus, however, entirely shifts to Anthony, scheduled to be at Toyota Center on Wednesday for the second stop of his tour of suitors.
Anthony spent his first day of free agency with the Bulls and will go from his session with the Rockets’ welcoming committee to a meeting Wednesday afternoon with the Mavericks in Dallas. He will also meet with the Lakers this week in Los Angeles and the Knicks can come in with an offer that no other team can approach.
The Rockets, however, have confidence in their message and presentation, combining the successful pitch to Dwight Howard last summer with the $7 million worth of new facilities stuffed assorted state-of-the-art bells and whistles that have been geared to put on a show.
The Rockets will have Howard and James Harden in on the presentation and will make Anthony the first free agent to tour the new basketball operation and training facilities, which were completed after free agency recruiting had ended last season.
When Anthony arrives in the lockerroom, in addition to the show on the video boards that circle the locker room, there will be a life-sized poster of Anthony in a Rockets’ uniform holding the championship trophy. The book the Rockets annually provide (and also have prepared for LeBron James and Chris Bosh, if need be) features Anthony on the cover, also with the trophy, and featured throughout along with information about living in Houston geared toward him.
As with last season’s pitch to Howard, the bulk of the presentation will focus on the Rockets contention that with Anthony, they would be ready to contend.
The Rockets began free agency recruiting with general manager Daryl Morey and coach Kevin McHale catching up with their former point guard in Philadelphia as soon as free agency began early Tuesday.
McHale called former Rockets forward/center Jordan Hill shortly after midnight and Morey followed up with his agent Tuesday afternoon. Discussions were considered preliminary, but the Rockets indicating strong interest in bringing Hill back with an offer expected shortly after the Rockets meeting with Anthony.
There will surely be some bells and whistles during Carmelo Anthony’s visit with the Dallas Mavericks, such as entertainment elements and marketing plans.
You can count on money coming up in the conversation, too, with that discussion centering on just how close Mark Cuban can come to a max-contract offer.
1. Play for an elite coach: Carlisle joins Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra and Doc Rivers as the only active NBA championship coaches, and he has outwitted two of those men in recent playoff series.
2. Play with a selfless star: Nowitzki is not only willing to hand the keys to the franchise over to a capable superstar, he’s taking a massive pay cut in an effort to help make it happen. He might even accept a lower salary than anticipated if that’s what it takes to make Melo a Mav.
3. A quality supporting cast: The Mavs believe the trade for defensive anchor Tyson Chandler gave them a legitimate chance of landing Anthony. They can now make the case that adding Anthony would give Dallas the league’s best frontcourt.
4. A proven front office and culture of winning: When it comes to stability and sustained success among front offices in today’s NBA, only the Spurs trump the Mavs.
5. A plan for the future: Would Anthony be left as Dallas’ lone star when Nowitzki stops shooting one-legged fadeaways and starts spending days in a rocking chair? Not if the front office executes its plan.