Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas said he may never have another conversation with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, who completed the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Cavs as part of a deal for Kyrie Irving.
Thomas otherwise has no problem with the Celtics organization: “Boston is going to be all love. I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.” He’s unhappy he played through a lingering hip injury during the postseason, saying, “No doubt about it, I should have sat out the playoffs. No way around it; I made it worse.” He also said he was given “no warning” he’d be involved in the Irving swap, per Jenkins.
The 28-year-old Washington native is still working his way back to full strength from the hip problem. IT added: “The nice thing about the Cavs is nobody is in a rush. Most places are trying to get you back, which isn’t always best for you. These guys know they’re going to play in June. It’s a given.” The Cavaliers will need him to produce at that level come playoff time if they are going to make another trip to the NBA Finals and take down the defending champion Golden State Warriors should the teams meet for a fourth straight time. Thomas might also get a chance in the postseason to back up his comments about Ainge, with the Cavs and Celtics the early favorites in the Eastern Conference.
Guard Trey Burke signed with the Knicks, weeks after he reportedly backed out of a deal with the Thunder. Burke, 24, appeared in 57 games with the Wizards in the 2016-17 season, averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 assists in 12.3 minutes per contest. He also spent three seasons with the Jazz, averaging 12.1 points and 4.2 assists during his time with the team. In New York, Burke will find himself in a battle for playing time given the team’s depth at point guard. Combo guard Ron Baker and rookie Frank Ntilikina will see plenty of minutes this year, while the Knicks also have Jarrett Jack and Ramon Sessions—both capable of running an offense—on the current roster. But Burke has flashed upside in the past and could be a nice source of points off the bench for the Knicks. There are opportunities in New York as the rebuilding team moves on from the Carmelo Anthony era with Kristaps Porzingis as its focal point, leaving Burke the chance to carve a out niche for himself.
As Carmelo Anthony enters his 15th season in the NBA, his new Thunder uniform won’t be the only change in his look. He also apparently won’t have a new Jordan signature sneaker to wear. Jordan Brand is halting the Melo shoe series after 13 models, according to industry sources, making last season’s Melo M13 sneaker the final model of the line. Though he has continued wearing the M13 during Thunder preseason games, it’s expected that Anthony will wear a combination of shoes from the brand this upcoming year, such as the Air Jordan XXXII, custom editions of retro models, and possibly even a remixed version of his very first signature model. Anthony’s signature line is the fifth-longest in NBA history, behind only Michael Jordan (32 models), Kobe Bryant (17, across Nike and Adidas), LeBron James (15) and Allen Iverson (14). Despite the end of his signature line, sources say Anthony — who agreed to a new long-term endorsement deal with Jordan Brand in January — will remain a key featured athlete for the company. He’ll be playing this season alongside the company’s current headliner in Russell Westbrook, as Jordan Brand looks to refresh its approach to signature shoes in a new era.