No matter how much Carmelo Anthony smiled and said he was focusing on basketball at the Nuggets' media day, as soon as this coming season is over, Melo will be leaving Denver in his rear view.
So the Nuggets will would be living in a dreamland if they don't trade Anthony before February.
But they don't want to come up empty handed.
If other teams in the league want a shot at acquiring one of the NBA's leading scorers, they are going to make the Nuggets an offer they can't refuse.
So who needs Carmelo Anthony the most? And what will these teams have to give up in order to get him?
What They Can Offer: Rudy Fernandez, Joel Przybilla, Greg Oden, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: Injury-prone Greg Oden is quite the liability for the Trail Blazers, and they need another scorer who is more reliable than Brandon Roy.
What They Can Offer: Jamal Crawford, Marvin Williams, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: Jamal Crawford wants out of Atlanta, and this would be a great way to dump his expiring contract on another team in the league. A Joe Johnson-Carmelo Anthony combo would make for some very nice scoring options for the Hawks.
What They Can Offer: Andrei Kirilenko and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: The Jazz haven't made much use of Kirilenko recently, and his expensive expiring contract make him pretty good draft bait. The combination of Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony could turn the Jazz into a main contender in the Western Conference.
What They Can Offer: Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: The Clippers need some experience to go along with the young talent they have in Blake Griffin, and Melo will definitely bring some scoring power to the team. Plus, the Clippers might have the best chance of keeping Anthony once he becomes a free agent.
What They Can Offer: Kevin Martin, Jared Jeffries, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: With the Rockets limiting Yao Ming's playing time, they will need somebody to work with Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks to put up some major points. This trade would allow Anthony to remain the star player while surrounding him with a great supporting cast.
What They Can Offer: Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: The Nets need a star player in order to establish themselves (and shed their "worst team in the league" stigma) before making the move to Brooklyn. New Jersey got royally screwed in this year's free agency, so they would be smart to give the Nuggets whatever they want for Anthony.
What They Can Offer: Samuel Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins.
Why They Need Melo: The partnering of Tyreke Evans and Carmelo Anthony (not to mention some extra wiggle room when it comes to cap space) could turn the Kings into a dominant force in the West.
What They Can Offer: Andre Iguodala, Spencer Hawes, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: The Sixers show promise with newcomer Evan Turner, but they need a star like Anthony to both fill seats and score points. Philly could offer Anthony the right supporting cast to be a real contender in the East.
What They Can Offer: Eddy Curry, Wilson Chandler, and Ronny Turiaf.
Why They Need Melo: Carmelo Anthony wants to come to New York, and the Knicks would be smart to pick him up and hold on tight. Not only would Melo give the Knicks the star power they're craving, he would be perfect to attract other talented free agents in the future.
What They Can Offer: Peja Stojakovic, Marco Bellinelli, and a first-round draft pick.
Why They Need Melo: The Chris Paul-Carmelo Anthony combo would make the Hornets a definite contender in the West, and this pairing could help New Orleans hold onto Paul when he becomes a free agent in 2012.