NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Carmelo Anthony Will Be a Net Before February

Joseph ChasanCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Carmelo Anthony Will Be a Net Before February

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 15:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Nuggets 100-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The NBA season is fast approaching its midway point, and with that time of the year come renewed rumors about Carmelo Anthony having a new address sometime in the near future.

    Well, I'm here to tell you that those rumors are right on.  There's no way Anthony will be in Denver much longer, as he continues to openly court other teams, and the New Jersey (not Brooklyn just yet) Nets make a full-court press to try to acquire the New York area born and bred superstar.

    Here are the 10 reasons why 'Melo is coming to his last days in baby blue and yellow.

10) His Wife

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    HOLLYWOOD - JULY 13:  Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony and fiancee MTV VJ LaLa Vasquez arrive at the 13th Annual ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 13, 2005 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
    Mark Mainz/Getty Images

    Dating for years, Anthony married TV personality LaLa Vazquez last summer.  The couple has a 3-year-old son, Kiyan.

    And slipping right into the role of doting husband, Anthony has made no secret of the fact that because of his wife's television career, his primary choices for hometowns are either New York City or Los Angeles.

    If he sticks to that, then it certainly narrows down his potential legitimate suitors.  Luckily for the Nets, they play in one of those markets.

9) The Nets Need Him

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:   Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets reacts after being called for a foul against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Have you seen the Nets play lately?  What?  No, that's not a trick question.

    But you're right, why would you have seen the Nets play lately?  They're terrible.  After starting the season 2-0, they've predictably sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings, and now sit in their rightful place in the cellar, at 10-25. (And we won't mention how they went 12-70 last year ... whoops, I just did).

    Their best players are Brook Lopez and Devin Harris, which tells you something.  No disrespect to either player, but neither is really someone who's going to be the cornerstone of a championship franchise, and neither possesses much star power, either.

    Having Anthony in tow immediately changes all that.  They'd have a bona fide A-list superstar who instantly would make them relevant, in the NBA, and in the New York market.

8) His Roots

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 4:  The Manhattan skyline is seen from Arthur Ashe Stadium during sunset on day nine of the 2007 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New Y
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Anthony is a New Yorker at heart, and as any New Yorker can tell you, these roots run deep.

    He was born in Brooklyn, and lived the first eight years of his life in the Red Hook projects.  After moving to Baltimore, and living there through his high school years, he played one memorable college season at Syracuse, leading the Orange to a national title as a freshman.

    Tying into the relevance of this background is the fact that the Nets still plan to eventually move the franchise to Brooklyn in the near future, as soon as they can finish financing and constructing their massive new arena project.

    Imagine if they could move into their shiny new Brooklyn digs sporting a native Brooklynite as their star.  And as a bonus, it'd be a non-crazy one, to boot! (Thank you, UStream).

7) Denver's Tired of His Act

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    DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1:  Stanley Kroenke of the Colorado Avalanche poses for a portrait on September 1, 2002 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado .  (Getty Images/NHLI)
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Stan Kroenke and the rest of the Nuggets ownership team has long been fed up with Anthony shunning them.

    They risk something more than simply losing Anthony's services if they let this process drag out much longer.  They risk losing the respect of their fanbase.  Denver is not used to this diva thing.  They don't want their stars to be like this.

    They want their stars to be like John Elway, Patrick Roy, and Larry Walker.  Guys who wanted to be there.  Guys who blended in.  Guys who respected the humble nature of the city.

    Carmelo Anthony is not that guy.

6) The Nets Have the Assets

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Damien Wilkins #3 and Josh Powell #12 of the Atlanta Hawks defend the basket against Derrick Favors #14 of the New Jersey Nets at Philips Arena on December 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Despite their lackluster place in the standings, the Nets are a good potential trading partner.

    They have a number of movable assets, and are willing to part with not just players, but something far more coveted: first-round draft picks.  And their willingness to move key pieces to acquire Anthony will only continue to grow as the trading deadline approaches.

    These facts make them a more attractive partner for Nuggets than a team like, say, the Knicks, who have not expressed a willingness to move young, high-upside players like Wilson Chandler in order to import Anthony.  They seem more willing to try to wait out the process, and see if they can score him as a free agent next summer.

    As the Knicks fade in Denver's eye, the Nets only grow larger.

5) He's Still Not Signing That Extension

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 15:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets smiles during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    He can try to avoid the topic, and put it off all he wants, but the truth cannot be denied.

    If he hasn't signed that $65 million contract extension that Denver has had on the table for him yet, then he's not going to sign it, or any other extension they offer.  And the sooner Denver realizes this fact for themselves, and accepts it, the sooner this whole mess can be done.

    And you can bet that, despite his apparent lack of concern over the whole thing, he would prefer that this gets resolved sooner rather than later, as well.  Even through that effervescent smile, he's still playing the role of sulking superstar, and it doesn't suit him.

4) He'll Put Fans In The Seats

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 24:  Young New Jersey fans show support for the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils in Game four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2003 NBA Playoffs between the Nets and the Detroit Pistons at Continental Airlines
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The Nets have always been the New York market's 'other' team, even when they've been far superior on the court to the Knicks.

    The Knicks play in the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.  They play in midtown Manhattan, in the center of everything, right above one of the busiest commuter rail stations in the world.  They have the history, the cache.

    The Nets play in New Jersey.  Kudos to them for finally being rid of the swamp, but even downtown Newark is only marginally better.  They're currently last in the league in home attendance.

    And though a move of this magnitude certainly shouldn't be done only for such simple reasons, the effect Anthony would have on Nets ticket and merchandise sales can't be understated.

3) He's Actually Rebounding Now!

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    DENVER - APRIL 19:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets grabs a rebound against the New Orleans Hornets in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 19, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nugge
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Yes, he'll score.  But he can do so much more than that.

    With the 7'0" tall Brook Lopez as their starting center, you would think the Nets would be a decent rebounding team, but boards have never been the strongest part of Lopez's game.  He's averaging only 6.1 rebounds per game this season, well off his pace of 8.6 from last season, and further fueling the complaints that he lacks toughness around the basket.

    As a team, they currently rank 20th in the league in rebounding differential, and while that's certainly just one of many issues for the Nets, they can make strides to address it by acquiring Anthony.

    Sure, he's never exactly been a rebounding machine, either, but he rebounds well for his size and position, and he's doing a better job of crashing the glass this season than ever before, averaging a career high 8.5 rebounds per game, more than a board and a half better than his previous best.

    He's no Dennis Rodman, but when you're the Nets, every little bit helps.

2) Russian Gold

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    NEW YORK - MAY 19:  New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Mikhail Prokhorov swooped in to claim ownership of the Nets last year, and immediately started revamping the franchise in his image.

    He accelerated the Atlantic Yards arena project in downtown Brooklyn, he quickly shifted the front office and on-court leadership, and as relevant as anything else, he comes to town with deep pockets.

    Prokhorov runs metal conglomerates back in the homeland that have made him worth an estimated $13.4 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 39th richest man in the world.  And he's not afraid to wield his checkbook to get what he wants.

    As far as the Nets are concerned, what he wants is a relevant, contending team ASAP.  He's not going to beat around the bush with Anthony.  If Prokhorov wants Anthony (and he does), he's going to do everything in his power to land him, for now and the future.

1) Jigga

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 18:  Recording artist and partial owner of the New Jersey Nets Jay-Z looks on as the New Jersey Nets play the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Izod Center on November 18, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User exp
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony is as entrenched in the celebrity culture as Jay-Z is, and don't think each one isn't salivating over the prospect of joining forces.

    It would be a match made in heaven.  The pair would be able to use their combined star power to promote the Nets, and themselves, far and wide, and together, they'd be stronger than either of them could ever be apart.

    In the end, it makes sense for all parties concerned.  The Nuggets get rid of someone who doesn't want to be there, and has never shown he can lead them to the promised land anyway, and will inevitably get lots in return.  The Nets get a new face of the franchise who can help turn around a moribund organization.

    And Jay-Z gets to lord himself that much more over the hip-hop world.  A win-win-win.