In the aftermath of Wednesday's four team deal, which saw the New Jersey Nets send Courtney Lee to Houston, only to receive Troy Murphy and his $12 million expiring contract, NBA.com has reported that the Nets sought Murphy not only to shore up their frontcourt, but to increase their salary cap flexibility for next offseason, allowing them to pursue Carmelo Anthony.
In the summer of 2011, with Murphy's contract off of the books, the Nets will have about $20 million in cap space, along with a load of young talent.
Furthermore, Anthony has still not signed the $65 million contract extension put forth by the Nuggets about a month ago.
Initially, it was thought that the New York Knicks would be the preferred destination of Melo, who was born in New York City and played his collegiate ball upstate at Syracuse.
However, the Nets may now prove to be a more attractive option.
With Brook Lopez, one of the best young centers in the league, a solid young point guard in Devin Harris, and a number of other promising young pieces (Terrence Williams, third overall pick Derrick Favors, Travis Outlaw, and Anthony Morrow), this Nets squad projects to have a promising future.
Furthermore, with all of this young talent, as well as two first round picks in 2012, they could possibly make a play for Chris Paul. Such a deal would likely involve Devin Harris, packaged with any variety of players and/or picks.
Moreover, Paul may still not be satisfied with the moves made by the Hornets. Trading promising point guard prospect Darren Collison and veteran wing James Posey for Trevor Ariza, a player who only managed to put up a stat line of 14.9 PPG, on 39.4 percent shooting, along with 5.6 RPG, and 3.8 APG, as a focal point of the Houston Rockets' offense, may not have appeased Paul's demand for the Hornets to make significant and competitive moves.
Paul recently spoke with the Hornets' new general manager, Dell Demps, but it hasn't been reported as to whether or not he is satisfied by the four-team trade, or the other deal, in which NO sent Julian Wright to the Toronto Raptors for Marco Belinelli.
Therefore, Paul and Anthony could potentially team in New Jersey, rather than in New York.
Nevertheless, Anthony has not made his decision as to whether or not to leave Denver at this point.
However, Anthony's Nugget teammate, Chauncey Billups, revealed to the New York Post that he may have received some hints as to what Melo will do. But he's not sharing though, instead stating, "It's between me and my guy. If y'all have a close personal friend, and they're going through something and the media asks, you're not going to expose that. Y'all find out when he wants y'all to know."
Regardless, Billups also added that he is, "100 percent hopeful," about Anthony's future.
But now, with the means to sign Melo in 2011, Nets fans have a reason to be hopeful too.