Carmelo Anthony's future continues to dominate the training camp buzz in the NBA, despite reports indicating a trade is no longer imminent.
Although the trade rumors have died down a bit for the moment, there is no question the Nuggets will continue to pursue deals in the coming weeks in an effort to unload salary and expiring contracts.
Denver would also like to move J.R. Smith and, if possible, the injured and unhappy Kenyon Martin and his $16.55 million contract.
Once the Nuggets are willing to lower the asking price for Anthony and the others, a deal is likely to happen.
Here's a look at 10 teams in the market for 'Melo, what it would take to acquire him, and how they would fare with a superstar scorer in their lineup.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: The Lakers have been mentioned in connection with Anthony, if for no other reason than having a potential superstar tandem ready to meet the Heat in the NBA Finals.
To acquire Anthony, the Lakers would likely have to part ways with injury-prone Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, and draft picks. As with any possible deal involving the Nuggets, another team would likely have to be involved to move contracts and help Denver avoid taking on luxury tax.
New Starting Lineup: Anthony would replace Artest at small forward, while the center position would be filled by Theo Ratliff, at least temporarily. The Lakers would likely look to acquire another big man via trade to replace Bynum. That doesn't mean D.J. Mbenga will be returning anytime soon...
How the Lakes Would Fare: The Lakers already have plenty of scoring, but Anthony would take a great deal of pressure off Kobe Bryant and give the Lakers another go-to option down the stretch. Although he isn't a great pick-and-roll player, Anthony's ability to create would benefit Phil Jackson's team. A great regular season and a NBA Finals berth would be a strong possibility.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: To acquire Carmelo Anthony, Clippers' owner Donald Sterling would have to change his slim-spending ways and offer up a lucrative extension. He might also have to part ways with Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon. The Nuggets would love to land Gordon, and might even be able to ship J.R. Smith to the Clippers in the deal. The Clippers have the type of young players the Nuggets covet.
New Starting Lineup: Anthony would fill the void at the small forward position, sending Rasual Butler to the bench where he belongs. The starting shooting guard spot would likely be filled by Randy Foye, or possibly Smith, if he was dealt to L.A.
How the Clippers Would Fare: The Clippers would suddenly have enough star power to become fixtures in the NBA conversation, but in the long run giving up Griffin or Gordon might not be such a great idea. In the immediate future, a 50-win season and playoff appearance would be likely. However, actually winning a playoff series wouldn't be a strong possibility.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: The Magic would love to move Vince Carter and his hefty contract and landing Anthony could make that wish come true. The only problem would be including another team in a three-team deal. Not many teams would want Carter, but swinging a deal wouldn't be completely impossible.
New Starting Lineup: The Magic would instantly be a strong NBA Finals contender with Anthony in the fold. His presence would give Orlando the go-to perimeter scorer, a role Carter has been unable to fulfill.
How the Magic Would Fare: Orlando's playoff chances just got a whole lot better. The Magic would be able to compete with any team on both ends and would certainly storm through the regular season, even in the loaded Eastern Conference. Anthony would provide the Magic with a clutch scorer in crunch time, a weakness that was apparent during the 2010 postseason.
What It Would Take to Land 'Melo: The Hornets aren't in a very good position financially, which would make a trade to acquire Carmelo and offering him an extension difficult.
At the same time, spending whatever it takes to acquire a superstar to play alongside Chris Paul would likely lead to increased attendance and improved revenue. New Orleans would need to move Trevor Ariza, Peja Stoyakovic, and give up a few draft picks to pull off a deal.
New Starting Lineup: Anthony and Paul would play alongside David West, with Marcus Thornton and Emeka Okafor providing supporting roles. The Hornets would be awful defensively, but the strength of an offensive unit including 'Melo and CP3 would be enough to carry them to wins.
How the Hornets Would Fare: New Orleans would have a great regular season, but any postseason hopes would depend on the ability to rebound and defend. A loss in the first round could be the end result of acquiring Carmelo Anthony.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: If Michael Jordan wants to land one of the signature faces of his Air Jordan brand, finding a way to trade Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, or even Gerald Wallace would be critical. Again, a multi-team trade would be necessary to allow such a deal to go down.
New Starting Lineup: The biggest problem the Bobcats have would not be addressed in a deal for Anthony. The prospect of starting D.J. Augustin at point guard will limit the Bobcats, even with a superstar holding down the small forward spot.
How the Bobcats Would Fare: Given the strength of the Eastern Conference, the Bobcats would have a good chance to make the playoffs for a second-consecutive season while enjoying a big boost in attendance. Another first-round exit with Anthony on board would be likely.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: Houston is anxiously waiting for Yao Ming's contract to come off the books. In the meantime, moving the overpaid and injury-prone Kevin Martin would be essential in the pursuit of Anthony. Various reports have indicated 'Melo would have at least some interest in signing an extension in Houston.
New Starting Lineup: A lineup including Aaron Brooks, Yao, Luis Scola, and Anthony could work well together. As with most potential lineups featuring Carmelo, scoring wouldn't be a problem. Houston will be better than most teams defensively and have a rugged, deep bench that could lead to postseason success.
How the Rockets Would Fare: The Rockets would take some time to adjust to Anthony. The veteran-laden squad might endure some growing pains in the regular season. The postseason could be a different story. Depending on Yao's health and the matchups, Houston could win at least one playoff series with Carmelo on board.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: The Nuggets want Joakim Noah. The Bulls want to give up Luol Deng. Something has to give, which means a multi-team trade and concessions on both sides.
New Starting Lineup: Landing Carmelo would mean the end of Deng's run at small forward one way or another. Barring a miracle, Joakim Noah would also be gone, leaving the Bulls with a huge void at center. Chicago would suffer immensely on the defensive end and struggle on the glass.
How the Bulls Would Fare: The Bulls are one of the few NBA teams that would likely get worse by acquiring Anthony. If Chicago was able to keep Noah and add Anthony, a NBA Finals run wouldn't be out of the question. In the end, swapping Deng for a superstar isn't likely, regardless of how many draft picks and teams are involved in the trade.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: The Knicks have allegedly pursued Anthony through back channels, possibly using Isiah Thomas as some sort of liaison. No matter what the Knicks want to part with, involving Danilo Gallinari and Eddy Curry in a mutli-team trade would be necessary to bring Carmelo to the Big Apple.
New Starting Lineup: Depending on what exactly New York would give up, Anthony would find a home at small forward while flanked by Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton. Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and a host of former Golden State Warriors would provide solid depth.
How the Knicks Would Fare: Like the Bulls, the Knicks need a center to have a legitimate chance to contend in the postseason. An offensive explosion would be likely with Carmelo playing in New York, but expecting the Knicks to make it out of the first round might be too much to ask.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: Now that Don Nelson is finally no longer in charge, Golden State might start parting with guards to get bigger and better. That doesn't mean the Warriors will part ways with Stephen Curry. Since Denver isn't likely to want Monta Ellis, a trade sending Anthony to the Bay Area would be extremely complicated.
New Starting Lineup: In the end, Stephen Curry would almost have to be moved. Golden State could go big, starting both Anthony and Dorell Wright on the perimeter. Since Monta Ellis isn't a true point guard, the Warriors could be burdened by turnovers and inconsistent play on the offensive end.
How the Warriors Would Fare: Golden State has a strange roster now and it would get even more bizarre and unpredictable if Anthony was added to the mix. The Warriors would be a fun team to watch, but a postseason appearance wouldn't be a strong possibility. Although the excitement would increase dramatically, the results of a trade probably wouldn't be overly positive.
What it Would Take to Land 'Melo: The secret surrounding the Nets-Nuggets trade is out. Denver wants Derrick Favors and draft picks from the Nets and New Jersey would likely also have to part ways with Devin Harris or Troy Murphy to swing a deal involving at least one other team.
New Starting Lineup: The Nets would instantly become a better team by adding Anthony, even if it meant shipping Harris or Murphy. New Jersey didn't land a marquee free agent this summer, but did bolster the depth of the roster. If Harris goes, Jordan Farmer would likely be capable of running the team. With Brook Lopez in the middle, the Nets would be solid defensively and on the glass.
How the Nets Would Fare: As presently constructed, the Nets are just a superstar away from being a serious contender. With a nice group of young role players, including Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow, New Jersey is on the cusp of becoming a contender. The move to Brooklyn would no longer be the only thing to get excited about if Anthony was acquired.