July 10, 2018 / 2:16 AM / 4 months ago

NBA notebook: Rockets targeting Anthony after losing Mbah a Moute

The Houston Rockets are now determined to sign forward Carmelo Anthony after forward Luc Mbah a Moute joined the Los Angeles Clippers on a one-year, $4.3 million deal on Monday, according to an ESPN report.

Basketball - NBA Global Games - Brooklyn Nets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico December 7, 2017. Quincy Act of Brooklyn Nets and Carmelo Anthony of Oklahoma City Thunder in action. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Anthony is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the two sides are reportedly working on parting ways, whether through a trade, a buyout or waiving via the stretch provision. Anthony is likely to become a free agent even if he is traded, as his new team would likely waive him.

Multiple reports on Sunday said Rockets guard Chris Paul wants Anthony, a good friend of his, to join the Rockets, while Anthony is also believed to have interest in joining LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Miami Heat are also reportedly interested in adding Anthony.

Mbah a Moute spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Clippers before joining the Rockets last season. The 31-year-old averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 25.6 minutes per game across 61 games (15 starts) in Houston. Between him and Trevor Ariza, the Rockets have lost two small forwards and two of their best defenders to free agency.

—The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to deal 37-year-old guard Kyle Korver and transition to a younger lineup, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The strategy for the Cavaliers with LeBron James was to surround him with veteran players. Now, with James joining the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavaliers are expected to turn their focus to top draft pick Collin Sexton and other young players.

Korver’s contract has $15.1 million remaining over the next two seasons, although only $3.4 million of his 2019-20 salary is guaranteed. He could prove to be a good option for a team looking for better perimeter shooting to compete for a league title.

—The Dallas Mavericks signed third overall draft pick Luka Doncic to an entry-level contract, the team announced.

Dallas reportedly reached a buyout with Real Madrid on Saturday, clearing the way for Doncic to sign. Terms of the deal were not announced, but last year’s third overall pick, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, signed a four-year, $30 million deal with club options in the third and fourth seasons.

Doncic, 19, will not suit up for summer league play despite owner Mark Cuban previously mentioning the team hoped to get him some action in Las Vegas.

—It’s unclear whether Joakim Noah will remain with the New York Knicks moving forward, but the center said he hopes to say in the Big Apple, in a video published by TMZ.

“I love New York,” Noah said, adding, “For sure,” when asked later in the video if he wants to stay in the city. When asked if he has worked out with new head coach David Fizdale, Noah responded, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but Coach Fiz is cool, man.”

Noah effectively was exiled from the team in late January after he got into a verbal altercation with then-head coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice on Jan. 24 that required the two to be separated. That came a day after Noah yelled expletives at his coach upon being removed from a game against the Golden State Warriors. The sides announced a “mutually” agreed upon indefinite leave for Noah on Feb. 2.

—The San Antonio Spurs are working on a contract to retain restricted free agent big man Davis Bertans, but a deal has not been reached yet, according to a San Antonio Express-News report.

Sportando reported that Bertans had agreed to four-year contract worth $20 million to remain with the Spurs. Per the Express-News, however, that report is “not true.” But the Spurs have shown heavy interest in keeping Bertans and are working to hammer out a deal.

The 25-year-old received a $1.74 million qualifying offer as a restricted free agent last month, after he made $1.3 million in 2017-18. Last season, Bertans averaged 5.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 77 games (10 starts), shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range. He shot 39.9 percent from deep in 2016-17.

—LiAngelo Ball has joined the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association, the league formed by his father, LaVar, and starring his younger brother, LaMelo.

Apr 29, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) recovers a defensive rebound against Los Angeles Clippers forward Luc Mbah A Moute (12) during the first half in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

The league announced LiAngelo Ball’s new team on its official Twitter account on Monday.

LiAngelo, the younger brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and middle of three basketball-playing Ball brothers, worked out for the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors before the draft. After his Lakers workout, the team signified it had no interest in drafting LiAngelo or signing the 19-year-old to play for its G League team, the South Bay Lakers, according to a report from USA Today Sports.

—Field Level Media

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