Carmelo Anthony has been the latest and greatest player potentially about to find a new team. The marriage between Melo and the Denver Nuggets has apparently fallen apart, and no resolution is in sight.
With that in mind, Anthony has the talent to take a team on his back and carry it to a championship. It just depends on the team.
Here are five teams that the former third-overall pick could get his first ring with.
New York is a place where Anthony said he would like to play. As much as New York is a landing spot, it is not his strongest landing spot for a championship.
What most need to take into account is that Denver will trade him for players before they let him go for nothing. With that in mind, the Knicks would have to give up the youth that is set to break out for the rights to have Carmelo don the orange and blue.
Danilo Gallinari (pictured) would be the guy Denver would ask for. Add a guy like Kelenna Azubuike, and some 1st-round picks, or replace Gallinari with Wilson Chandler, and the Nuggets maybe bite.
That is a big maybe at this point, especially if the Knicks want Chris Paul via trade as well, if he becomes available again.
Ming looks better in a basketball jersey
Houston would be another interesting team for Anthony. The Rockets have trading chips, and even if a deal would be struck, it would not involve a large core of their talent.
Names like Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Kyle Lowry, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill would all be potential future Nuggets, as Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks, and Yao Ming would be untouchables. Of course, draft picks are always an option.
A lineup of Scola, Brooks, Ming, and Anthony would make Houston a serious contender this year, and potentially the next few. If Ming stays healthy and can get a smaller deal once his current one expires, Houston will have enough money to keep their best players around for a handful of runs as Kobe Bryant continues to age, and only the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be around for the long haul with the Lakers.
Like New York, the Chicago Bulls would have a problem making a deal because of the personnel that would be involved.
Anyone who believes a rumored deal of Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and two first-rounders with maybe a second-rounder would work is insane. Deng, despite his "amazing" 17 points and 7 rebounds, is nothing more than those numbers. He is soft, oft-injured, and a shell of a dominant forward that he was touted to be. Do not discount his ugly contract that no team would bite on this offseason, as the Bulls tried to shed salary for the big LeBron sweepstakes.
If the L.A. Clippers do not want Deng, no one does.
At this point, you scratch off his name and add Joakim Noah and James Johnson, and then the talent level in Chicago is not the same. Melo with the Bulls minus Noah is still good in the East, but Anthony would win in Chicago if Noah is in town.
A potential Noah-Anthony-Rose-Boozer core would make people stop talking South Beach, and more about the Windy City. Imagine the future Heat-Bulls matchups that could play out for some years to come...sick.
The potential marriage between Carmelo and the Brooklyn, I mean New Jersey Nets, would be one that would make an immediate and long-term impact.
The Nets would have to give up at least one of Derrick Favors (pictured) or recently acquired Anthony Morrow, if not both. The Nets would still be "rebuilding," and could also send a decent 2011 first-round pick, among a slew of others. Does New Jersey really want to give up its young talent it just brought in and really likes?
Melo would be home, and the move to Brooklyn would be set in stone. The Nets would start making so much revenue that they could bring in players that used to look at the Nets as a wasteland that happened to have a few good young players.
In a few short years, and with owner Mikhail Prokhorov willing to spend gobs of money, Brooklyn would be seeing a lot of basketball in June.
There is a power shift in the NBA. If it was originally in the west, guess where it is going?
Away from the team he is currently on.
New Jersey, New York, and Chicago are all nice options, but in a crowded Eastern Conference, Anthony would be behind the similar roadblocks he has been since coming into the league in 2003.
The rich creamies still have Chauncey Billups, Nene, J.R. Smith, and Ty Lawson. Add in complimentary players like Chris Andersen, Arron Afflalo, and Al Harrington, and this team is not bad in a conference that lost a lot of talent. Age and injuries happen, and sometimes too often with this team, but the same can happen to any other team.
If Denver can convince Anthony to stay around for three years, keep a good veteran core, and get the youngsters every franchise desires, and this team would stop middling in the 4-7 seed area, and be a top 3 seed, with only the Lakers and Thunder as legit contenders to represent the West.
With all of this talk about leaving and winning, Carmelo Anthony needs to look around him and smell the roses (despite the lack of oxygen in those mountains) and appreciate what he has with the only franchise he has ever known.