Carmelo Anthony's Five Options After Leaving The Denver Nuggets

Ryan MarshallCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2010

Carmelo Anthony's Five Options After Leaving The Denver Nuggets

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    Although Carmelo Anthony has been dismissing the talks of his departure from Denver as "rumors", certain indicators lead most of us to believe he has other plans in mind.

    For example:

    He has yet to sign the three-year $65 million extension that would keep him in Denver through 2015, an offer that's been on the table all summer.

    His 25,000 square-foot mansion in suburban Denver is up for sale.

    At his wedding this summer Chris Paul made a toast to the newlyweds, proclaiming that he, alongside Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, will make a "Big 3" of their own in New York one day.

    With that said, let's take a look at five possible landing places for Melo.

Basis For Ranking

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    The five aspects taken into account for ranking these teams are as follows: 

    1. Appeal: Teams that would be appealing for Melo to play for (i.e. talented roster to play with, coaching, establishment, reputation, location etc.).

    2. Financial Ability: Teams that have the ability to sign Melo as a free agent next summer.

    3. Roster Fit: Teams that have a dire need for a SF like Melo.

    4. Trading Chips: Teams that have valuable players to trade to Denver in exchange for Melo.

    5. Plausibility: Teams that would realistically pursue Melo and have a chance at securing him a spot on their roster.

    First, teams will be eliminated if they would be rated near the bottom of the league in several of these categories:

    Atlanta (3,5), Boston (2,3,5), Charlotte (1,2,3), Dallas (2,3,5), Detroit (2,3,5), Indiana (1,2,3), Los Angeles Lakers (2,3,5), Memphis (2,3), Miami (2,3,5), Milwaukee (2,3), New Orleans (2,3), Oklahoma City (3,5), Philadelphia (1,2,3), San Antonio (2,3,5), Toronto (1,2,4), Washington (1,3,4).

    That leaves 13 teams (by excluding Denver from the mix) to be ranked one through five on each of the aspects to determine the five most likely candidates.

Appeal

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    Here are five of the most appealing teams for Carmelo Anthony to play for:

    1. New York Knicks: Potential of Big 3 in Amar'e and CP3, playing on big stage in New York

    2. Chicago Bulls: Rose, Boozer, Chicago legacy, city of Chicago, championship contender

    3. Orlando Magic: Carter, Lewis, Howard, potentially lethal starting 5, championship contender

    4. Portland Trail Blazers: Roy, Aldridge, up-and-coming young team, playoff team

    5. Houston Rockets: Brooks, Yao, playoff team

Financial Ability

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    Here are the teams that have potential to be in a "financial" position to acquire Carmelo Anthony:

    1. Sacramento Kings: Current cap room $14.6 million

    2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Current cap room $9.04 million

    3. Los Angeles Clippers: Current cap room $4.9 million

    4. New Jersey Nets: Current cap room $2.5 million

    5. New York Knicks: Current cap room $1.7 million

Roster Fit

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    Here are the teams who most desperately need a small forward in their depth chart:

    1. Golden State Warriors: Reggie Williams/Dorell Wright

    2. Portland Trail Blazers: Nicolas Batum/Luke Babbitt

    3. Los Angeles Clippers: Ryan Gomes/Rasual Butler

    4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jamario Moon/Danny Green

    5. Sacramento Kings: Omri Casspi/Antoine Wright

Trading Chips

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    Denver would either need a small forward to replace Anthony or a shooting guard to complete their depth chart (Afflalo/Smith not cutting it). Here are the teams who would have the most to offer Denver:

    1. Phoenix Suns: Richardson/Turkoglu/Childress/Dudley

    2. Orlando Magic: Carter/Lewis/Redick/Pietrus/Richardson

    3. Chicago Bulls: Deng/Brewer/Korver

    4. Houston Rockets: Martin/Battier/Lee/Jeffries

    5. Golden State Warriors: Ellis/Williams/Curry

Plausibility

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    Here are the teams who are just most likely to pursue Anthony given their current situations:

    1. New York Knicks: Looking to add on to their consolation prize, Stoudemire, next summer.

    2. Sacramento Kings: Looking to add superstar next to young talent.

    3. New Jersey Nets: Rebuilding, could use superstar for a jump start into playoffs.

    4. Portland Trail Blazers: Missing small forward, major upgrade could turn them title bound

    5. Los Angeles Clippers: Small forward void, look to round out starting 5

5. New Jersey Nets

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    New Jersey found themselves in two of the top fives, being third in plausibility and fourth in financial ability.

    The Nets made a lot of roster changes this summer and it wouldn't be surprising to see them continue to rebuild into next summer as well with their positive cap room.

    Potential Starting five:

    PG: Devin Harris

    SG: Anthony Morrow

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: Derrick Favors

    C: Brook Lopez

4. Portland Trail Blazers

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    The Blazers were found in three of the top fives, making fourth in appeal, fourth in plausibility, and second in roster fit.

    If the Blazers added Anthony to their roster, they would be an immediate title contender and he would fill the void at small forward.

    However, they probably do not have enough cap room unless they make a trade for him.

    Potential Starting five:

    PG: Andre Miller

    SG: Brandon Roy

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: LaMarcus Aldridge

    C: Greg Oden

3. Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Clippers made it onto three top fives as well, placing third in roster fit, third in financial ability and fifth in plausibility.

    The Clippers have a weakness at small forward and they will have a decent amount of cap space following this season to potentially acquire Anthony.

    Potential Starting five:

    PG: Baron Davis

    SG: Eric Gordon

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: Blake Griffin

    C: Chris Kaman

2. Sacramento Kings

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    The Sacramento Kings were found on three of the top fives, being ranked first in financial ability, fifth in roster fit, and second in plausibility.

    The Kings have the most cap room out of any team in the NBA currently and could use the superstar talent to launch the Kings into the playoffs alongside Tyreke Evans.

    Potential Starting five: 

    PG: Tyreke Evans

    SG: Donte Greene

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: DeMarcus Cousins

    C: Jason Thompson

1. New York Knicks

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    The Knicks were found atop two of the top fives and coming in at fifth in financial ability. The Knicks were 1st in appeal as well as plausibility.

    Most of the rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony indicate that New York is the likely team to pick him up next summer, and Carmelo should be very interested in playing with Amar'e Stoudemire and maybe even Chris Paul.

    Potential Starting five:

    PG: Chris Paul (Raymond Felton)

    SG: Bill Walker/Kelenna Azubuike

    SF: Carmelo Anthony

    PF: Anthony Randolph

    C: Amar'e Stoudemire