NBA Power Rankings: Which of Carmelo Anthony’s Trade Suitors Fits Him Best?
Why does Melo look so happy? Because he may have a new home in a few days.
The Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes have officially begun.
But which team has the Golden Ticket?
The NBA offseason didn't really exist this year (like summer in Los Angeles), with numerous developments keeping us as engaged as we are during the June Finals. (Thanks 'Bron, Melo.)
Anthony has an array of options for his next destination, but which team would prove to be Carmelo's best option?
Will he choose one of the current front runners in the East?
Will he shock the world and take his talents to Hollywood?
One thing is for certain: Wherever he goes, he will send a shock wave of activity through the National Basketball Association.
I'm here today to tell you all the implications of his near-future choice, and which team would benefit most from his "talents."
The Dark Horses
Despite the constant rumors going around about a four-team trade nearing completion, there are a few Dark Horse options for Carmelo Anthony's services.
The Los Angeles Clippers: Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction.
The Clippers have a chance of landing Carmelo in Hollywood this season, mostly because Anthony will soon have his own reality show with bride LaLa Vasquez. If he's going to take the road of Ochocinco to Hollywood, why not go all the way?
The Clippers would also provide him with a great supporting cast. Simply slide Blake Griffin to the 4 spot, and the Clips' lineup looks scary. Imagine the change in Barron Davis's tune if he received a perennial All-Star like Carmelo. Also don't forget that Kaman remains one of the most underrated and under-appreciated centers in the league today.
I would not mark this as a likely destination, but stranger things happen every day.
The Los Angeles Lakers: I know what you're thinking....
Even though I find it to be an unlikely scenario, it's quite possible logistically.
The Lakers would acquire a player who would give them someone to match the league's "biggest three," and the Nuggets could receive probably the best compensation for their superstar.
Imagine if the Lakers were to deal Bynum, Artest, and change for Anthony?
Denver would come out of that deal looking pretty good. A young center to build around, a veteran point guard, a tenacious small forward, and a formidable supporting cast.
Denver could surely do worse.
Melo's Choice (The Knicks)
There was so much talk about Lebron James wanting to conquer the Big Apple, and in the end nothing happened.
Now Carmelo Anthony has made a vocal case for New York on numerous occasions, and has made no secret that it's his preferred destination.
While New York certainly has an opportunity to acquire Anthony, the developing rumors don't suggest that to happen. The fact of it is, this may be the best thing for Carmelo.
If he were to join New York, he would join Amare and Felton to form yet another big three in the east. The only problem with this equation is..
They would be the weakest of the three "Big Three's."
Carmelo would certainly be one of the top options when assembling a Big Three, but would Amare Stoudemire?
Ray Felton? (You can't be serious with that one.)
The result of this move would be a Knicks squad that would win more in the regular season, but then get stomped out by any of the following teams: Celtics, Heat, Magic, and even the Bulls.
After reviewing the facts of a move to New York, it may still be Melo's choice, but may I ask why?
The New Jersey Development
While many teams have their eye on the coveted Carmelo Anthony, the New Jersey Nets have been the most active about it.
What started as mere rumors last week has now turned into strong, four-team trade talks as of this morning. So far the rumblings around the league indicate that Carmelo would be sent to New Jersey, while Andre Kirilenko and Derrick Favors would be sent back to Colorado.
This deal seems great for the Nets, but not so much for the Nuggets.
New Jersey would gain a prolific scorer to complement an emerging center, and an All-Star-caliber point guard. Colorado, on the other hand, would get an aging Kirilenko and an unproven Favors.
Even with first-round draft picks included, this seems like a raw deal to me.
Good or bad, this scenario is gaining steam toward happening.
This scenario would also include Carmelo being closer to home, something he's wanted since his days in Syracuse.
The Nets may not be Melo's first choice, but he seems to be theirs.
While trade talks continue to heat up in New Jersey, the deal is not done yet.
I'm here to tell you today that the absolute best fit for Carmelo Anthony is none other than:
The Bulls have already made proactive moves this offseason, but this deal would take the proverbial cake. The Bulls have more than enough to make the trade worthwhile for Denver (Deng, Gibson, Picks), and still have a frightening core left over.
Imagine a lineup of Rose, Brewer, Anthony, Boozer, and Noah. That is downright scary.
If you send Anthony to the Nets or the Knicks, you get a playoff appearance. If you somehow land him in Chicago, you get championships, plain and simple.
Why Chi-Town is not his No. 1-preferred destination, I have zero idea, as they are obviously the best fit for him.
What does this all mean in the grand scheme of the NBA?
This means that unless Carmelo ends up in Clipperland, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers benefit from any result.
This means that the West gets weaker, the East gets stronger, and Kobe and Co. have one fewer foe to get through on their journey through the Western Conference.
This also means another possible Big Three in the East could be brewing.
No matter the result, this move will shake the foundation of the NBA once again.
Denver's Future Starting Five
One thing we know for sure is Carmelo Anthony is leaving Colorado quicker than Kobe Bryant did.
What will Denver's lineup look like when their All-Star small forward is gone? Something to the tune of:
PG- Chauncey Billups
SG- J.R. Smith
SF- Andre Kirilenko
PF- Derrick Favors
C- Nene Hilario
Not terrible, right?
But could that squad really make the playoffs? My guess is no.
The lineup could also turn out a little like this:
PG- Chauncey Billups
SG- J.R. Smith
SF- Luol Deng
PF- Taj Gibson
C- Nene Hilario
Either way, the Nuggets don't look playoff-bound.
There is a silver lining for Colorado, however, as any deal for Anthony will most likely involve a few first-round picks.
The picks can in turn be used to add more building blocks for the future of the Nuggets.
Fantasy Hoopsters out there, start taking notes, because Anthony's departure is going to seriously affect the fantasy numbers of many players.
The moment Carmelo leaves Denver, the stock of Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith goes through the roof.
First, Smith will most likely be tapped to start for the Nuggets, while he and Billups will be expected to step up their production to make up for the loss of Anthony's numbers.
Second, wherever Anthony goes, his teammates' value will plummet.
If he lands in New Jersey, the stock of Devin Harris may go slightly up, but everyone else's will do down. Melo will take away many of their shot attempts, and gobble up numerous rebounds as well.
If he winds up in the windy city, Derrick Rose will benefit, but the production of Boozer and the rest of the cast will go down due to the number of shots a player like Carmelo demands.
New York would be the only place Melo could end up where it wouldn't kill everyone's numbers. They still lack a dominant scorer, and Carmelo would be perfect to fill that role.