By now you have all heard rumors about Anthony’s desire to leave Denver. While Melo still hasn’t said it out loud turning down approximately $20,000,000/yr. is a bold statement. Anthony has also spoken through sources who have said that he wants to play for Orlando or New York, the latter being his first choice. In some cases Anthony’s NBA pals have spoken for him beginning with Amare Stoudemire who shortly after signing with the Knicks said “Tony and Melo are ready to join me in the Big Apple”. Anyone following the story has read about the already infamous “toast” made by Chris Paul at Anthony’s wedding saying he, Anthony and Stoudemire might form a “BIG 3” in New York. Since that time, the media has spun a trade scenario to every NBA team not in Colorado. We have heard that the Knicks are a lock because Anthony and his Wife Lala were born in New York City, he played in Syracuse and she could continue her career in TV. We have heard the Nets are a possibility because they are moving to Brooklyn the actual borough of Anthony’s birth. There have been reports about Melo teaming up with Dwight Howard in Orlando to compete for the Florida crown to going to the bulls because he is with Jordan brand and loved the musical Chicago. We will take a look at some of these possibilities later but first we will answer the question: To Trade or Not to Trade?
The Nuggets must trade Carmelo Anthony; the fact that they are delaying the process is foolish. Due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Nuggets will only be able to pay Anthony a fraction of the offer he recently turned down. It is highly unlikely that he will stay with the same team yet willing take less money in the Prime of his career. Despite this fact, the Nuggets have about as many buyers for Anthony as Allen Iverson. Because the nuggets will surely lose Anthony anyway and the looming lockout almost guarantees a discount on players, many teams are willing to start the bidding war next year. Teams that were initially interested in a trade have now turned away after rumors were released that Anthony will only sign an extension in New York, meaning any team that trades for him can count on him leave them just as he would have Denver. Even New York is hesitant to pull the trigger, they figure: why trade away their young talent knowing that they can keep their young core and still get him next year for a cheaper rate. There are four teams that should consider jumping on Melo before opening day- The Nets, Knicks, Magic and the Bulls. The Knicks should trade for Anthony now because one of these other teams may beat them to the punch and it would not be far-fetched for him to re-sign with any of these clubs. The Nets should do it because if Anthony becomes a free agent and gets a chance to pick, he will choose the Knicks over them. The Bulls and Magic should trade as well for the same reason as the Nets and because their teams could convince him to re-up. Aside from the Nuggets desperation and Anthony/ “sources” big mouths there is another reason many trade scenarios do not work; the Nuggets have depth and solid players at every position, they simply do not need anyone (other than Carmelo of course).
How Much is Too Much?
Knicks- If the Miami Heat has proven anything it is that the “field of dreams” logic works- “If you build it they will come”. The Maimi Heat went into the offseason with a roster of three, Wade, Beasley and Chalmers however, after building the big three players began lining up to throw their money in the garbage and join the super friends for a chance at stardom and victory. If the Knicks get Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire they will surely attract more quality role player and maybe an additional All Star- J, Kidd, Tony Parker, Chris Paul anyone? With that said every player on the Knicks roster with the exception of Amare Stoudemire should be fair game. Coach D’ antoni is partial to Galanari, but the young, high potential Italian small forward will be the key part of any of their trade scenarios. This trade is still lopsided in the Knicks favor but this is what I propose.
3 – Way Trade Scenario
Austin Daye R
Knicks get Melo and a prospect back up.
Gallo- Younger player that will instantly replace Prince
Balkman- Solid bench defender
E. Curry- Expiring contract, flexibility to spend next year
B. Walker- Young confident and potential
Pistons trade Prince’s exp contract and get the same amount in Curry plus inherits a younger player at Prince’s position who can score in Gallo. Plus takes in a defensive stopper in Balkman and a solid prospect in Walker all for just Prince and Maxiell
A. Randolph- Will compete for the starting PF position with K. Martin and Al Harrington
T. Prince- To plug up the hole for Anthony, a win now small forward with an expiring contract
J. Maxiell- additionally size to compete with the Lakers
W. Chandler- Can start immediately at the shooting guard on Denver
These four quality players would make the Nuggets the deepest team in the NBA and arguably better without Anthony, easily more well round and complete with the right coaching they could compete for the finals.
The Nets- there have been rumors that the Nets are the close to consideration except they have stamped Brook Lopez with the off limits tattoo. Brook Lopez is a rare player, a classic back to the basket center with defense, rebounding, speed, size, youth and potential. Carmelo Anthony is even more rare Coach K’s appointed captain of a star studded USA team that included, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and D. Wade, Former NCAA champion, and arguably the best scorer in the league. The point is Lopez led his team to 12 wins last year, Anthony unlike Kobe, Lebron, Wade and Chris Paul has never missed the playoffs despite playing out West. When the Nets were beginning blown out they wished they had a man capable of scoring 33 points IN ONE QUARTER, a feat MJ, Kobe, Wilt Chamberlain or no other player for that matter has ever accomplished. Some TEAMS cannot score 33 in a half, Melo did it in less than 12 minutes. With that said here is the NETS trade:
Travis Outlaw SF
Brook Lopez C
Terrance Williams SG/SF
The Nuggets Starting 5 and backup will look like this, still very solid. The Nets on the other hand will have several holes but also the money and player to attract other All- Stars.
T. Williams/ JR Smith
Al Harrington/ Outlaw
Nene/ K. Martin
Lopez/ C. Anderson
Bulls- there is no real story here except a team that wanted Lebron and fell short now they have a chance to get a player that will gel better than LBJ with a similar upside. Anthony will not conflict with D. Rose’s play making whereas LBJ has not yet demonstrated that he can play with another guard. Here is their trade scenario that works:
Luol Deng- underrated All- Star caliber SF
Ronnie Brewer- Starting SG with great mid range and on ball defense.
As recently rumored Noah and future draft choices for Melo. This is a no brainer, Noah is a fan favorite, with energy and determination but he is not the proven winner and top tier player Carmelo Anthony is. Chicago is rumored to say no to trading Noah for Anthony which is the stupidest decision made this entire year if there is any truth to it. How do you go from wanting Lebron at all cost to keeping Noah over Anthony? Noah’s career numbers are not All-star let alone Hall of Fame, his defensive presence is exaggerated because of the big plays he makes. He’s undersized at the center, D. Howard constantly makes minced meat out of him. With the great bounce back after the LBJ debacle I thought Chicago looked to have the best off season but they are dumb as …. If they think they can take on the Magic, Heat and Celtics without Melo.
Because they are unloading high quality players the Bulls should not have to give much. Rose, Iverson???, Melo, Boozer, Noah- Miami Heat who?
Or how about Rose, Brewer, Deng, Melo, Boozer easily the fastest highest scoring starting 5 in the league, with four 20+ scorers and brewer playing D and able to give 15 a game a variety of ways
Finally the Magic, there is really no player the Magic could trade that the Nuggets would want for Anthony with the exception of Vince Carter but with two years and about 45 Million left on his contract it is highly unlikely. I am yet to find the 3-way trade that gets Melo to Orlando. Any Ideas? Whatever the scenario Denver should jump at it now so they can practice with the new guys rather than allowing the season to begin and then disrupting chemistry. Then again the longer the fans think you will keep him the more season tickets you sale.
Maybe we answer the question (How much is too much?) with a question- How bad do you want to win? Because if you want to win in Chicago, Noah would be on a bus to Colorado. If your in NY everyone accept Amare should be on the team jet destination Denver. The Magic should ship any contract the Nuggets are willing to take. Finally the NETS should send all 12 of there players and build a team with Melo and a bunch of d-leaguers or free agents and i am sure they will still get more than 12 wins. On a more serious note Brook Lopez is an easy swap for Melo, Denver might not even want a draft pick. The teams stock would instantly increase, merchandise and ticket sells would soar and Melo will be back in his hometown of Brooklyn in about 2 years. The nets would have the ammo to cash in on the championship in 5 years promise.
In summary, If the player is not better than Melo trade him for Melo.. Duhhh...!