This September rumblings around the league had Carmelo Anthony involved in a four-team trade that would have sent him to the New Jersey Nets.
The trade would have brought rookie phenom Derrick Favors and Andrei Kirilenko to Denver while the Bobcats would have received Devin Harris. The Jazz would then end up with defensive stopper Boris Diaw.
In my opinion, there was upside all-around. Let’s discuss.
While some may argue that a superstar remaining idle on a team helps build a consistent following from their fans, you need only look to the boost the NBA received by the mere mention of a Carmelo Anthony trade to be convinced otherwise.
As LeBron James moved addresses the amount of news coverage in the NBA has grown exponentially.
With Carmelo Anthony changing coasts, there would be no end to the talk of a future match-up between the two All-Stars.
Despite what Carmelo may have said recently, we know he wants out of Denver. You can make nice goo-goo eyes during media day, but the fact that you have not signed an extension and recently put your ranch up for sale speaks louder.
As a fan, it is very easy for me to fawn over my team’s superstars. As an educated fan, I understand that this love is not without its limits.
Once a star becomes unhappy in a situation they turn detrimental to their team. Just as us civilians are wont to do, depression and unhappiness breeds unenviable results.
We have seen this most recently with Randy Moss and his ousting from New England. The good thing that came out of that scenario is Bill Belichick cut the cancer before it spread. So too should Denver cut ties with Carmelo Anthony.
New Jersey has been on the outs the past couple of years. They hit a new low last season when they started 0-18, a new NBA worst.
The Nets are a big market team playing to little or no national fanfare. The addition of Carmelo Anthony would help to change all of that.
Couple that with an owner that wants to win, Mikhail Prokhorov, and a move to the Brooklyn borough in a couple of years, and you have a fresh look on an old face.
They have been here before. The Nuggets had no problem shipping off Allen Iverson for a supposedly over-the-hill point guard, Chauncey Billups. The move turned out to be addition by subtraction, and the Nuggets thrived.
While Carmelo Anthony is nowhere near as cancerous as Iverson, his lack of commitment to a new Nugget deal may be.
It may be hard for role players to get behind a system and team captain if they think he may be gone in a year or less. It is a lot easier to buy in and play hard if you have the confidence that your best player will be around in a season.
I can still remember rooting for the Hornets, rather Alonzo Mourning, when I was growing up. Back then, Charlotte had a basketball team that made inroads to matter in the NBA. The Bobcats enter their seventh season with a still rebuilding franchise.
Devin Harris has shown flashes of brilliance in his young career. With the tutelage of a coaching legend, Larry Brown, he just may find himself mentioned as a possible All-Star.
Diaw is one of the more unheralded players in the NBA. He is a hard-nosed defender with all-around skills.
When he was on the Suns, we had a taste of what he could do when Amare Stoudemire was injured. His production helped Phoenix stay afloat in the tough confines of the Western Conference.
Jerry Sloan teams are defensive, tough, and pride themselves on execution. Boris Diaw would be perfect for that type of system.
The third pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Derrick Favors would have gone to Denver in the four-team trade. He would have been a consolation prize for losing one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers.
While he may not have the versatile scoring ability of Carmelo Anthony, he does boast some attributes many teams desire. He is a big man with strength and quickness. His explosiveness will allow him to get to the rim and the free-throw line many times in his career.
The Nuggets would have yet another tool to gather boards. If Favors delivers on the skill set experts are drooling over, he can be an All-Star many times over.
Andrei Kirilenko is at a pivotal time in his career. He has one year left on his contract and hopes to stay in the NBA a few more years.
He was once thought of as a guaranteed 15-10 guy. He was someone who could rebound and score while playing fantastic defense.
While his defense is still spot-on, his production has waned since his last great year in 2005-06, where he scored 15 points and grabbed 8 boards a game.
Kirilenko may find the fountain of youth elsewhere. At the very least he would not have a young up-and-comer like Gordon Hayward looking to take his job.
I already have a little funny feeling in my stomach for this season. At first I thought it was indigestion, but I quickly realized it was all the match-ups out East.
Once thought of as the weaker half, the Eastern Conference easily surpasses the West in depth. Miami, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta will all be punishing each other.
If you added another big-market team, the ratings and my lack of boredom would benefit exponentially.
Say what you will about big-market teams getting the high-priced talent. The fact is, it is good for the league when teams in big markets do well. It sells tickets, jerseys, and air time.
The Knicks getting Stoudemire will make but a dent in their tattered roster. They are still two to three moves away from the playoffs.
New Jersey may not be New York, but it is close enough. They have an owner willing to make the moves to win and soon they will be in one of the five boroughs.
Carmelo Anthony's move to the Nets would finally bring that section of the NBA back to life.