Last year, the NBA rumor mill churned out at least two or three Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony rumors every day. The two of them weren't joined at the hip, but it was just a matter of time before they were traded by their respective teams.
Ultimately, they were. The Utah Jazz traded Williams to the New Jersey Nets, and the Denver Nuggets traded Anthony to the New York Knicks.
Given the way both teams are looking right now, you wonder if they might be traded for each other.
I'll admit, this isn't my idea. Some random guy posed it to ESPN's Chad Ford in a Wednesday chat, and Ford was surprisingly open to the idea:
I'm not sure a move like that is totally out of the question for either team. If Nets don't get Dwight Howard, trading D Will is a real possibility and the Knicks love him. Adding Melo would give them a (tarnished) star name to build around that's already locked up to a long-term deal.
Now, you don't need somebody like Chad Ford to tell you that the Nets and Knicks are both flawed teams, and that a D-Will for Melo swap would solve problems on both sides of the fence.
But since Ford didn't shoot the idea out of the sky right then and there, one is left to wonder just how possible this trade really is.
Actually, it's very possible.
All you have to do is run it through ESPN's NBA trade machine. The two salaries stack up reasonably well, and both teams would be able to make the money work.
Which team would "win" a Melo for Williams swap?
For what it's worth, John Hollinger's number-crunching system says the trade would result in seven fewer wins for the Knicks and seven more wins for the Nets.
I would disagree with that assessment. The Knicks desperately need a point guard, and there would be no limit to what they could do if they get one as talented as Williams. He and Amar'e Stoudemire would be a much more dangerous duo than Anthony/Stoudemire.
As for the Nets, what Ford pointed out about them having a star with a long-term contract makes perfect sense. They would be a rotten team immediately after making the trade, but they're already a rotten team. Adding Anthony would give them a fair chance to become less rotten moving forward.
So yeah, the chips stack up surprisingly well.
But that doesn't mean this trade is going to happen. It certainly could, but could and will are two different things.
Still, I'd keep an eye on the rumor mill. This might not be the last we hear of this trade.