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The Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony has long been rumored in trades out of Denver over the course of the last few weeks.
There was a strong, persistent rumor this past weekend of a four-team trade in which Denver would send Anthony to the Nets to acquire New Jersey rookie forward Derrick Favors, Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko, and two first-round picks. The Nets would also send point guard Devin Harris to the Bobcats, who would then ship forward Boris Diaw to Utah.
The latest on that deal is that it’s “dormant.” Whether it’s because one of the teams involved had reservations or because the Nuggets are waiting on something better is unknown.
Also, Anthony would have to sign a long-term extension with the new team for any deal to work.
Most of the teams rumored to have the best chance of landing Anthony’s services—the Nets, Knicks, Bulls—are in the Eastern Conference. Let’s take a look at how a trade to the East would impact the Miami Heat’s chances at a championship next season and beyond.
Chicago Bulls - This would, without question, be the most dangerous landing spot for Anthony from Miami’s perspective.
The problem with this deal coming to fruition is the Denver's asking price. The Nuggets would absolutely want center Joakim Noah involved in any deal, and it’s doubtful Chicago would be willing to part with their young big man.
However, a threesome of point guard Derrick Rose, Anthony, and Carlos Boozer is a really nice core that could definitely contend.
New York Knicks - The Knicks are a potential suitor for 'Melo, and he apparently has a strong desire to go there.
However, New York doesn’t have the draft picks that Denver covets. If they were to include youngster Danilo Gallinari in a deal, there might be something there.
A team with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire would definitely be a force on the offensive end.
On defense? Not so much.
New Jersey Nets – A core of Anthony, Brook Lopez, and Terrence Williams is a nice little trio, but far from championship caliber.
They would need a playmaker at the point to pose a serious threat to the powerhouses of the East. Would they be able to build a contender around Anthony that quickly?
If Carmelo does get traded east, the only team of the above three that could pose a threat to Miami is Chicago.
If they somehow are able to pry Anthony away without giving up Noah, they would be a force to be reckoned with.
However, the more likely scenario would be a core of Rose, Anthony, and Boozer, which still has the potential to be extremely formidable. They would still need a shot-blocking big man inside to make a move up the Eastern Conference ladder.
Expect the 'Melo rumors to carry on until a deal gets done—and he will get traded. That is, unless the Nuggets bring in another star to play alongside him.
If not, they may suffer the same fate as Cleveland and Toronto this offseason and lose their franchise star for zilch.