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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 9: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket against Vince Carter #25 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game on November 9, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The dog days of August will soon give way to the dawn of the 2017-18 NBA season. Teams around the league will hold their respective media days in two weeks, with training camp to follow.

In the meantime, the Association is largely laying low, in more ways than one.

Carmelo Anthony appears to be keeping a closer eye on his New York Knicks teammates than his recent discord with the organization would suggest. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets have been quietly scouring the basketball world for more reinforcements up front.

And maybe, just maybe, the world will see Vinsanity take flight in Toronto again, albeit in an entirely different capacity than you might expect.

So before you hit snooze on pro basketball until late September, chew on these tidbits filtering through the rumor mill.

            

‘Melo, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

It feels like a lifetime ago that word first surfaced of Carmelo Anthony’s willingness (if not desire) to be traded to the Houston Rockets and only the Houston Rockets, per the New York Post (h/t CBS Sports).

Last anyone checked, there’s been no NBA reunion yet between Anthony and Chris Paul, two of the famed Banana Boat bunch. There were some complicated talks involving Rockets forward Ryan Anderson and at least one other team, but no progress on ‘Melo’s part toward escaping from New York since then.

As such, the 10-time All-Star may have no choice but to take his talents back to Madison Square Garden, at least for the time being. It’s possible that Anthony has resigned himself to as much, if his latest bits of communication are any indication.

According to intrepid European reporter David  Pick, Anthony has reopened lines of communication with his fellow Knickerbockers, including rising stud Kristaps Porzingis.

For what it’s worth, ‘Melo has ample reason to send his support, beyond just being a good teammate. Porzingis’ Latvia team and Willy Hernangomez’s Spanish squad are both into the quarterfinals at this year’s FIBA EuroBasket. Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Lithuania, meanwhile, lost to Greece in the previous round.

           

Nets Hoping to Catch a Big

Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

Even after swapping Brook Lopez for Timofey Mozgov, the Brooklyn Nets remain thin up front. In today’s NBA, head coach Kenny Atkinson doesn’t need a ton in the middle beyond Mozgov, Trevor Booker and rookie Jarrett Allen. But it can’t hurt for Brooklyn to look at some guys with size and experience, at least for training camp invites.

That seems to be exactly what the Nets have been up to through their September slog. According to Nets Daily’s Anthony Puccio, the team brought in Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger for workouts:

Once upon a time, Zeller and Sullinger were first-round picks in the 2012 draft. More recently, they were teammates with the Boston Celtics. Now, they’re both clamoring for somewhere to play in the NBA.

Zeller tumbled toward the bottom of Brad Stevens’ small-ball rotation in Boston. By the time the playoffs rolled around, the 27-year-old North Carolina product was already deep into mop-up duty—a role in which he persisted during the Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

As for Sullinger, the former All-American out of Ohio State played a total of 118 minutes over 11 appearances for the Toronto Raptors while suffering through another spate of back problems.

           

The Return of Air Canada?

HONG KONG, HONG KONG - JULY 30: Vince Carter #2 of American Professional Nike Rising Star Team, player of Sacramento Kings, reacts during Yao Foundation Charity Tour match between American Professional Nike Rising Star Team and Chinese Men's Basketball St

Power Sport Images/Getty Images

It’s been almost 14 years since Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors split on less-than-amicable terms. In Dec. 2004, Vinsanity’s tantalizing but ultimately tumultuous time in Canada came to a swift end when the Raptors traded him to the New Jersey Nets for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams and a pair of first-round picks.

The split, though painful, was necessary. Both sides are far better for it now than they were back then.

Carter, 40, will be the NBA’s oldest active player when the coming campaign gets underway, just as he was when the last one ended. It’s admittedly a late point in his career for the eight-time All-Star to start wearing purple, but with the Sacramento Kings paying him $ 8 million dollars to do so, it’s still better late than never.

As for the Raptors, they’re in the midst of the most successful run in franchise history. Toronto will look to extend its team-record playoff streak into a fifth postseason, now that Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka are back and DeMarre Carroll is off to Brooklyn.

What better time than the near future, then, for Carter and the Raptors to bury the hatchet? According to Rogers Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, that may be the case:

The Kings will make their only trip of the season to Toronto on Dec. 17. Perhaps Masai Ujiri, long one of the league’s cagiest general managers, will let slip another detail or two about what’s in store for what could be Carter’s last homecoming prior to retirement.

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