Start the Commotion: Sixers Possible Landing Spot for Melo?

Start the Commotion: Sixers Possible Landing Spot for Melo?

The summer of mega free-agent signings has come and gone without the Sixers drawing so much as a second glance from any of the big names on the move, much to the surprise of no one. But now, with just a couple of weeks before the start of the pre-season, a huge name previously not even on the board is being discussed as a trade possibility for the 76ers: Carmelo Anthony.

The Nuggets forward, who has made quite a splash the last month and a half with his public-not-public demands for a trade out of Denver, was previously thought to be most likely going to a team like the Nets, Knicks or Rockets, if anywhere at all. However, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that members of the Nuggets staff would be interested in discussing a deal for Melo centered around the Sixers' Andre Iguodala, and likely including a young player like Thaddeus Young and some expiring contracts as well.

Does the deal make sense from either or both sides? Well, it might be a lot to give up for Anthony if he doesn't sign an extension first--as mentioned in the article, Melo has more or less OK'd a trade to the Nets or Knicks, but might have reservations about going to a likely non-contending team in a smaller media market. Then again, the Sixers have been looking to dump Iguodala's contract for a while now, and might welcome the opportunity to get some legitimate return (and at last, a superstar to market) with it, even if it is for just a year, and then to have the cap space to work with when the season ends.

I see it as less likely from the Nugs' perspective. With Melo gone they're going to need young, potential-laden talent to sell to their fanbase as a legitimate rebuilding effort, but just about everyone knows who Iguodala is by now--an extremely talented complementary player, and a mostly poor excuse for a first option. It's hard to imagine Denver fans welcoming 'Dre with open arms as the primary replacement for the franchise's best player since the 80s, and it's doubtful that Thad or Marreese Speights or whoever else would go with him would do all too much to sweeten the pot.

The CBS Sports article also mentions the Sixers as a possible partner in a three-way deal to get Carmelo to the Nets, which could end up netting the Sixers Derrick Favors, NJ's #3 pick (taken by then-GM Rod Thorn, now with the Sixers) in the '10 draft. If Philly is truly trying to rebuild around youth, a Dre-for-Favors swap would certainly be an efficient way to do that, as the team could then potentially trot out a Holiday-Turner-Young-Favors-Hawes starting lineup--all former top-20 picks, and none over the age of 22. Hard to imagine this not resulting in a 20-25-win season next year, but another trip or two to the lottery and we could be Oklahoma City East soon enough (well, minus the whole Durant thing anyway). Intriguing, certainly.

Ultimately, I think this is all just end-of-summer boredom speculation, and Berger himself admits that the teams have not actually even discussed either such deal just yet. Still, it's fun to dream, and it's nice to at least be mentioned as a potential player in one of the off-season's biggest deals--good to know that the other 29 teams know that we're still alive out there somewhere.

What do you guys think? How'd Melo look as a Liberty Baller?

Instant Replay: Phillies 9, Braves 5

Instant Replay: Phillies 9, Braves 5

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA – If this was Jeremy Hellickson’s swan song with the Phillies he went out a winner.
 
Hellickson pitched into the sixth inning and gave up just three runs in the Phils’ 9-5 win over the sloppy Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
 
Hellickson is 8-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 22 starts with the Phillies. He could be on the move to a contender before Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. A number of clubs in need of starting pitching scouted Hellickson’s start. 
 
Braves pitching walked eight batters.

Starting pitching report 
Hellickson had the type of start he often does. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, exiting with a 5-3 lead. He allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out two.

Hellickson finished the month of July with a 2.34 ERA in six starts and gave up just four runs in his last three starts.
 
Will he make another start for the Phillies? We’ll know in a couple of days.

Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran gave up three runs over five innings.
 
Bullpen report
Hellickson departed with a run in and two men on base with two outs in the sixth. Edubray Ramos came in and registered a strikeout to end the inning. He stayed on for the seventh and struck out two more.
 
Jeanmar Gomez closed out a four-run lead. His appearance in a non-save situation may have been a showcase for teams interested in trading for him. The Giants and Indians have been watching Gomez.
 
The Phillies scored twice off lefty Eric O’Flaherty to take a 5-2 lead in the sixth.
 
At the plate
Hellickson helped his cause with a two-run double in the fifth. It was the first double of his career.
 
The Phillies built a 5-2 lead when Freddy Galvis singled home two runs in the sixth.
 
Ryan Howard doubled in the second and scored on a hit by Cameron Rupp for the Phillies’ first run. Rupp had three hits and scored two runs.
 
The Phillies sent nine men to the plate and scored four runs in the eighth without getting a hit. They benefited from four walks in the inning.
 
Nick Markakis, Adonis Garcia and Anthony Recker (single and double) all had RBI hits for the Braves.
 
Trade update
The Phillies’ asking price for Vince Velasquez is … (see story)
 
Up next
Jerad Eickhoff (6-12, 3.83) pitches Sunday afternoon for the Phillies. The Braves had not named a starter as Saturday night’s game was ending.

Phillies want 2 bats for Velasquez, deal unlikely at this point; Tigers check on Hellickson

Phillies want 2 bats for Velasquez, deal unlikely at this point; Tigers check on Hellickson

ATLANTA – Two days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies have several pitchers who could be on the move.

The market for Jeremy Hellickson, Saturday night’s starter against the Braves, remains alive. The Phillies have received several offers, but nothing yet to their liking. A strong start against Atlanta on Saturday would certainly help the right-hander's value.

The Phillies had talks with Miami about Hellickson, but the Marlins filled their need for starting pitching by acquiring Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from San Diego earlier in the week.

Pittsburgh, Texas, Toronto, Baltimore, the Dodgers and others remain in the market for starting pitching. The Detroit Tigers could be a team to watch on Hellickson. They had a scout come in to watch Hellickson pitch in Atlanta on Saturday night.

The headline-grabbing name on the Phillies’ trade front remains Vince Velasquez. Major league sources continue to tell CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies have had meaningful trade discussions with the Texas Rangers involving the power-armed right-hander.

Sources say a deal is unlikely at this time because the Phillies are seeking a high price and the Rangers could use their prospect resources in their quest to add a more established pitcher like Chris Sale or Chris Archer or a catcher like Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy. But it remains noteworthy that the Phillies have made Velasquez available for the right price.

What is that price?

Sources say the Phillies would like to get two hitters from Texas’ bounty. One of those hitters must be ready to play in the majors now and the other must be close. The Rangers have a number of hitters who fit this description. Outfielder Nomar Mazara is almost certainly untouchable. (He was last year in the Cole Hamels talks). Power-hitting outfielder Joey Gallo, infielder Jurickson Profar and outfielder Lewis Brinson would probably fit the Phils’ wish list.

A source described the Phillies as being “pretty deep” in talks with Texas. The Rangers even dispatched a top scout to watch Velasquez pitch in Atlanta on Friday night. The scout was not in attendance for Saturday night’s game.

Relievers David Hernandez and Jeanmar Gomez are also in play in the last couple of days before the deadline. The Giants, who need bullpen help, have had scouts tailing the Phillies for a couple of weeks.

More NFL Notes: Texans star WR DeAndre Hopkins not at training camp

More NFL Notes: Texans star WR DeAndre Hopkins not at training camp

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins did not report to training camp Saturday.

Entering his fourth pro season, Hopkins is holding out for a new contract. He is scheduled to make $1 million in salary in the final season of his rookie contract, though the Texans have picked up his fifth-year option.

Hopkins can be fined up to $40,000 for every day he misses camp.

He comes off a huge season with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns despite inconsistency at quarterback and few other receiving options on the Texans.

Houston general manager Rick Smith said in a statement: "We are disappointed DeAndre has elected not to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates. He has expressed his position regarding his contract status, and we have been clear with both he and his representatives of ours. Our focus is on the 2016 season and all of our collective efforts and attention will be centered on that endeavor."

Hopkins was the 27th overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Clemson. He has started all 48 games in his career, making 239 catches for 3,533 yards and 19 touchdowns. He went to the Pro Bowl last season.

49ers: Offensive lineman Anthony Davis reinstated by NFL
SAN FRANCISCO -- Right tackle Anthony Davis was reinstated by the NFL on Saturday after an 11-month retirement that he planned to come back from all along.

The San Francisco 49ers made the announcement ahead of their first day of training camp Sunday under new coach Chip Kelly.

Davis was the 49ers' first-round draft choice, the 11th overall pick, in the 2010 draft out of Rutgers. He was affected by a concussion late in the 2014 season.

On June 5, 2015, at age 25, Davis announced his retirement in another surprising offseason departure last year for the 49ers. He became the fourth prominent San Francisco player to retire in a three-month span, joining linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland and defensive end Justin Smith. The announcement came four days before the team's mandatory June minicamp.

Also Saturday, San Francisco placed nose tackle Ian Williams on the reserve/non-football injury list (see full story).

Bears: LB Willie Young signs to 2-year extension
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears signed outside linebacker Willie Young to a two-year contract extension on Saturday.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 30-year-old Young signed with the Bears two years ago after spending his first four seasons with division-rival Detroit. He had a career-high 10 sacks that year before tearing his Achilles tendon in December, but bounced back to play in 15 games with 6 1/2 sacks last season.