With the summer of 2010 winding down and all the big name free agents already finding their homes, NBA fans haven’t been this excited for a season in quite some time.
Sorry, Allen Iverson, you left the title of “big name” back in Denver.
Speaking of things left in Denver, the Mile High City is currently stuck with Carmelo Anthony. While being “stuck” with an All-Star who scores like Don Draper isn’t normally bad, in this case, Anthony has put the Nuggets in quite the bind.
To trade, or not to trade. That, is the question.
Shakespeare was wrong.
Lots of talk around the NBA has been about whether Carmelo Anthony will stay in Denver. According to today’s Denver Post, new vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri will do everything in his power to keep him around.
Will that even matter?
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Anthony and his people informed the franchise of his intent to leave and that the team would be better off sending him elsewhere in order to get some value back.
Sadly, the odds of getting equal value for ‘Melo make the odds of the Clippers winning the title seem likely.
Yet the rumors are certainly swirling. The New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and New Jersey Nets have had their names tied with Carmelo plenty, but considering the 26-year-old forward is likely to leave in a trade, the possibilities are endless.
So let’s propose something that would rock the basketball world.
Carmelo Anthony in Chicago. The return of The Madhouse On Madison.
People are probably saying, “But Ross, Chicago just spent all its cap money this off-season, how could they possibly pull in one of NBA’s best scorers too?”
Elementary, dear Watson.
While I’m still convinced Carmelo’s best option is to stay in Denver, donning the red and black is his best choice that involves leaving town. He can make his own super team in Chi-City, and make the Miami Heat look like yesterday’s news.
First, let’s talk logistics. Melo Yellow is owed roughly $17 million this season, so the only way the Bulls can get near that number is if the wait until December 15, when they can package some of their new signees.
Denver wants to move some bad contracts and rebuild. Renaldo Balkman’s, Chris Andersen’s, and Anthony’s deals total around $23 million, so what could the Nuggets get in return?
Well how about a package of James Johnson, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, and Kyle Korver and a first rounder? Or switch Korver with Ronnie Brewer and Johnson with Thomas? Does that work?
The Nuggets get tons of talent, with reasonable and a few expiring contracts, while the Bulls get the biggest fish in the pond. Win-win never looked this good.
However, the more important issue is how this sits with Mr. Anthony. If he’s going to go Chicago, he has to make sure he’s getting into a situation where he can do what Al Davis has been quoted saying so many times.
“Just win, baby, win.”
Derrick Rose, Brewer or Korver, Anthony, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah easily make the best starting five out of any of his proposed destinations. A bench of C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, and Kurt Thomas rounds out a stellar eight rotation guys.
The Miami Heat’s top eight includes Joel Anthony. Who’s got the edge now?
If you continue compare his options, it becomes even less of a contest.
Many people think the Knicks will be able to swipe Chris Paul and make a better trio in New York with Anthony. But after all the moving parts in the two trades, the only cast worse than the Knicks’ role players is in Scary Movie 4.
Yeah, I went there.
The Nets, while very young and talented, do not have the veteran experience that ‘Melo needs alongside him to go to the Finals. The Rockets have that, but also have a Jackass the Movie number of injuries each season, limiting their ceiling.
Chicago has a mixture of youth and veterans, experience and newcomers, and a cast of team players. Anthony can defer to Rose and Boozer if he wants a break, and that trio rivals anything the NBA has to offer.
But hey, this is just another option for Carmelo. He has more leverage than TNT in this situation and could go anywhere he wants.
Chicago just seems like the right fit. Great fans, a superb roster, solid management, a chance to win a decade of titles, and all the deep-dish pizza he could ever want.
Even Gandhi can’t resist Chi-town’s cuisine.