If Denver’s smart, and they may not be, it’s not a matter of if Carmelo Anthony will be traded, but only a matter of when.
After watching LeBron James and Chris Bosh spurn the Cavaliers and Raptors, respectively, one would think Denver would learn from that experience and get something in return for their franchise cornerstone while they still can.
It’s clear Anthony will not be in a Nuggets jersey next year. Don’t be stubborn. Take what’s out there.
Let’s take a look at different teams who could acquire the former Syracuse superstar.
The team that poses the biggest threat to Miami and Boston: Chicago Bulls
If the Bulls found a way to acquire Anthony without giving up Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah, they would automatically be on the same level as Boston and Miami in the Eastern conference. But why would Denver take back Luol Deng, his ridiculous contract and scraps?
They would need to make another move beforehand to acquire more attractive assets.
Odds: 10 percent
The Dark-horse and best fit: Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban will do whatever it takes to bring a championship to Dallas. He has had one of the best regular season teams of the past decade, but that doesn’t stand for much.
They still are a perimeter playmaker away from being in serious contention. If they offered Jason Terry (expiring contract), Caron Butler (expiring contract) and Rodrigue Beaubois (a young talent), along with a package of picks, it would certainly tempt Denver.
Cuban has also indicated he doesn’t need Anthony to sign an extension for a trade to work.
If Anthony really wants to win, he will want to be in Dallas. The Knicks will never win a championship with Amare Stoudemire and Anthony as their two best players. Never.
Odds: 35 percent
The team with the best pieces for a trade: New Jersey Nets
The Nets don’t intend to trade the house for Anthony only to let him walk away this summer. They have to figure out a way to surround him with enough talent so he would sign an extension.
They have plenty of young talent on the roster in Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors, among others. They also boast five first-round picks over the next two years.
It will be tough unless Anthony agrees to sign an extension, something that isn’t likely, but not impossible.
Odds: 35 percent
His preference: New York Knicks
The Knicks are already one of the league’s top offensive teams. Why trade several young key players for a guy who only helps on the offensive end?
They could always sign him outright this summer. I doubt he gets traded here unless the Knicks get desperate and make a move for the sake of making a move, which would end up being one of the worst trades of all time.
With Anthony’s camp making it clear he will only sign an extension with New York, one would think it’s Knicks or bust. Still, don’t underestimate Mark Cuban.
Odds: 20 percent
I say either he’s traded to the Mavericks or not traded at all. There is a still a chance the Knicks deal for him, but it would not be in the best interest of their team, knowing they can sign him without giving up other assets this summer. Anthony with Dirk Nowtizki and the Mavs puts them on par with the Lakers and Spurs out west.