Brooklyn Nets: The Negatives of Signing Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

As you can recall, we had a Free Agency Fantasy piece on Carmelo Anthony and why it wouldn’t have been such a bad idea for the Brooklyn Nets to have a look at him (see here). Not too long after, the NBA was briefly rocked with stories that Melo was working out with players on the Brooklyn Nets roster. It was reported that this was an informal workout of sorts that Brooklyn Nets brass would be taking a look at to evaluate whether or not they’d like to acquire Melo’s services. These thoughts seem like assumed reporting as this seems like it wasn’t the case. It seemed a case more of friends working out with friends.

Be that as it may, neither side as publicly denounced the chances of a union out. So that means it remains an option, no matter how unlikely.

Cons of Signing Melo:

Since we did an article of potential benefits for signing Melo, it’s probably best if we listed the cons for this one.

-For starters, even without the addition of Melo, this is the most star-studded roster that Kenny Atkinson will have to coach. It’s one thing when he has a bunch of NBA outcast, role players, rookies, and or G-Leaguers just trying to stay in the league. They’re willing to accept more criticism even if just to put on the guise of being coachable. Kenny hasn’t by any means had an easy job these last few years, but he had to deal with fewer personalities. And with the added pressure and big names on the roster, his job hasn’t gotten any easier. Kenny’s name doesn’t hold the allure or respect of a Greg Pop or Doc Rivers to have players give him the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t yet have the cache to have players almost never challenge him as of yet. He does have a lot of the core from last year that will probably back him if it ever comes to that though.

-We have 15 guaranteed contracts. We can sign Melo right now, but by season starts we’d have to either cut or trade someone. Cutting someone means we’d be paying someone to not play. We are only just entering the final year doing that with Deron Williams and I’m not sure the Brooklyn Nets Brass are in a rush to get back into that. Especially with how tight we are with the cap as is. Another problem is that the majority of the role players under contract are here for multiple years. So you run the risk of paying them for them not to provide their services for at least two years.

-Melo is a self-proclaimed rhythm shooter. He is used to having the rock in his hands and creating for himself. This causes him to be very streaky as a catch and shoot option. In Kenny’s offense, this is the main use of most players. This may cause him to allow defenders to close out by taking an extra unneeded dribble or having him become a cog in the offense with ball stopping tendencies.

-Melo has never been an All NBA defenders. That’s never been apart of his game that anyone has written home about. Being in the game for over a decade is not about to solve that. His defense has almost undoubtedly declined with his time away from the game. Some of this can be alleviated with him guarding power forwards, which would be easier matchups, but the fact still remains that the Brooklyn Nets were a middle of the pack team defensively last year. Melo is most likely not helping the team make the proper strides on that end.

With all this being said, if Melo were to get signed, Wilson Chandler would probably be the player that would be scapegoated. He’s one of four players not under contract for next year. The other three would be Caris Levert, Taurean Prince, and Joe Harris. Prince and Harris are some of the deadliest catch and shoot players in the league and Harris are one of the Nets original hires to help create what we have today. Levert is one of the Nets draft picks oozing with potential that he just started to really reach. On top of that, many things he’ll be Kyrie’s partner in crime while Durant is out. Not to mention Levert is also like a little brother to KD so I doubt Nets brass would do anything that would even remotely upset one of their newfound stars. Add on top of that, they are all much younger than Chandler. The only real logical option would be to cut Chandler’s cheap contract if we were serious about wanting to add Melo.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones can be the week one starter

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

There was something different about the New York Giants week three preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones played against their first-string defense, and he looked fantastic under center for the third consecutive game.

Jones finished the night 9/11 with 141 yards passing and what should’ve been touchdown to Darius Slayton. Jones once again showed off his impressive footwork in the pocket. At one point, he was knocked down completely and almost looked concussed, but he stood right back up and threw a dart to the center of the field to Brittan Golden. The pass was in a perfect spot, only where Golden could corral the ball.

On the very next play, Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson demolished Jones in the pocket on a sack, fumble. The rookie passer responded with ease, tossing a beautiful pass to the 2-yard line where Slayton snagged the ball, falling just short of the goal-line.

Was New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman, right?

General manager Dave Gettleman continues to look like the smartest guy in the room. Jones was an extremely confusing draft pick, as he came from a smaller school that didn’t face-off against quality opponents on a regular basis. The Duke product, however, clearly has the tangible and intangible skills to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He will undoubtedly sit behind Eli Manning for his rookie season in an attempt to develop and refine his preparation.

What we’ve seen from Jones this far in the preseason has been nothing short of miraculous. His smooth throwing motion and calmness in the pocket is exactly what you want to see from a player that has a year to grow and find himself in the driver’s seat for a historic franchise.

Daniel seems to have the quality and mental ability to play from week one and beyond over Manning, but he can only improve from here. Ensuring he remains healthy and in the mentality to learn should be the priority for the Giants. He is clearly gained a lot of influential knowledge from Manning in just one off-season, we can only imagine the depth of wisdom he will acquire throughout the course of the regular season.

New York Yankees prospect Clarke Schmidt is rising quickly

New York Yankees

While the talk of the town has been New York Yankees top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, there is another young righty climbing the ranks and showing he can be a quality option at the top level.

While Clarke Schmidt may not reach the majors this season, he has impressed consistently in the minor leagues. Most recently, the Yankees’ No.5 prospect tossed 6.2 scoreless innings to ensure the Thunder won the final game of a series against New Hampshire 4-0.

“He’s the type of guy where the hitters will tell you how good he is,” manager Patrick Osborn said, according to the Trentonian. “This day and age we have a lot of technology that helps to evaluate pitchers and players, but Clarke you just need to watch the hitters, and they’ll tell you this kid is really good.”

The 23-year-old pitcher struck out nine batters and allowed just two hits. He retired 17 batters in a row at one point, putting 20 of 23 hitters out of their misery.

The former first-round pick from 2017 was coming off a questionable Double-A debut, but he has proved he can be a quality option moving forward.

Schmidt has a reputation for throwing strikes frequently, hitting on 61.9% of his pitches. Over 92 total, 57 of them were strikes against New Hampshire. His combination of changeup, sinker, and fastball are the bread-and-butter of his repertoire.

Learning how to engage batters and keep them guessing is part of what makes a pitcher great. Those are the challenges he will face and the developmental refinement he will need to go through before he can be considered a major league player.

The New York Giants have a huge problem on their hands

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants might have a significant problem on their hands, and his name is Daniel Jones. Before the start of the 2019 preseason, it was expected that Jones would struggle and that Eli Manning would shine and prove his worth once more.

However, something very odd and unexpected happened, Jones excelled and continues to show why he can be starting quality player in the NFL.

The New York Giants are impressed with how Daniel Jones is progressing:

Over three preseason games, Jones is 25-of-30, with 369 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an 83.3% completion percentage. The Giants must be happy with his performance so far, as his poise and accuracy from the pocket have been on full display.

Coach Shurmur:

Daniel Jones gets better every time he takes the field. That’s what you’re looking for in a young player.

From the fans perspective, he looks game ready. The issue ultimately boils down to, in an alternative universe would Jones be the starting option over Manning?

The answer is…probably, but in this universe, John Mara is still married to Eli, and his two Super Bowl rings, rightfully so. The Giants are looking good for the future, though, as the sixth overall pick from the 2019 NFL draft looks like he’s headed on a path for success.

Taking a massive hit from Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson and getting up the very next play to throw a beautiful pass to Darius Slayton at the 2-yard line showed his resiliency and ability to overcome adversity.

The rookie has had his fair share of struggles, especially with protecting the ball. Jones fumbled once against the Bengals after fumbling twice against the Chicago Bears in week 2 of the preseason. He will need to work on his ball security, but the rest of his game looks developed and refined. He will continue to work on his preparation and understanding NFL coverages and concepts so that when he does eventually succeed Manning, he will be more than ready.

Some might call the situation between Daniel Jones and Eli Manning a quarterback controversy. I see this as genuine competition and something that will likely bring out the best in both players.

Ultimately, Manning hasn’t enjoyed any real competition in 15 years, but the boot of Jones is slowly pressing on Manning’s neck as he squeezes out his remaining quality in the twilight years of his career.