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Carmelo Anthony not interested in bench role after Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round exit

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Carmelo Anthony sat on the bench for much of Oklahoma City’s first-round loss to Utah.

He has no intention of seeing that role become permanent.

After producing career lows in minutes, points and shooting percentage this season, the 10-time All-Star was asked if he would consider accepting a reserve role for the 2018-19 campaign. Anthony emphatically responded he would not.

“Yeah, I’m not sacrificing no bench role,” Anthony told reporters during team exit interviews on Saturday. “So, that’s out of the question.”

He went on to emphasize that he had already given up much in an effort to mesh with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star swingman Paul George in his first year with the Thunder. Despite those efforts yielding his first playoff appearance since 2012, Anthony did not seem pleased with the current arrangement continuing.

“I think everybody knows that I’ve sacrificed kind of damn near everything,” Anthony said. “Family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out. So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”

Anthony holds a 2018-19 player option for nearly $28 million, the last year of a deal he signed with New York in 2014. Anthony will be 34 before next season starts, but he still feels he can play at a high level. He became more of a catch-and-shoot scorer this season instead of the isolation specialist he had been. He said prefers to play his old way and said he has no interest in coming off the bench. Though he is due $28 million next season, he seemed unsure of his future.

”It’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball,” he said. ”And how long I want to continue to do this, I think that’s also a thought process as well.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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