Carmelo Anthony Headed To New Jersey Nets: 10 Ripple Effects Throughout NBA

Matt TruebloodSenior Analyst IJanuary 10, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Headed To New Jersey Nets: 10 Ripple Effects Throughout NBA

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets watches on against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The deal is not done yet, but it looks for all the world as though Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is headed to the New Jersey Nets.

    The trade that will send him there also appears to involve the Detroit Pistons, who will send guard Richard Hamilton to New Jersey in return for two big men.

    Guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Parker would accompany Carmelo to New Jersey in the proposed deal, with a hefty package headlined by Devin Harris and Derrick Favors going to Denver in return.

    The Nuggets stood to lose Anthony at some point, or so it seemed for some time, so they have to be happy with the package they will reportedly receive in exchange for their three-time All-Star.

    David Aldridge is the main source on this story, and he says the only remaining sticking point could be appeasing the Pistons.

    All around the league, when blockbuster deals like this one go down, the tremors reverberate and cause reactionary moves.

    The sheer displacement of players—not to mention the changes made to the competitive landscape of the league—could force the hands of a number of teams while staying those of others.

    Read on for the 10 biggest changes this deal could bring about in the NBA landscape.

1. Billups and Hamilton: Reunited and It Feels So Good

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    AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 29:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons high fives Richard Hamilton #32 after his third quarter basket while playing the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Once upon a time, the Detroit Pistons ruled the Eastern Conference on the strength of their two quiet and extraordinarily efficient leaders, guards Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.

    Those days are long gone, as are the prime years of each of those men's careers. But this reunion (after about 26 months apart) could provide the synergistic revival both guards need.

    Playing alongside Anthony will mark the first time Hamilton has shared the floor with an elite scorer in his prime as a pro, which should open up plenty of scoring opportunities for both men.

    Billups, ever the facilitator, will have plenty to facilitate.

2. Bulls To Keep Looking

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 01: (L-R) Loul Deng #9, Derrick Rose #1 and Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls watch their teammates during a loss to the Orlando Magic at the United Center on December 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Magic defeated the Bulls 10
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Just prior to the season, and then throughout the early part of the campaign, the Bulls appeared interested in trying to work out a deal for Anthony.

    Denver held firm in its demand for Joakim Noah in such an exchange, though, a price the Bulls understandably found prohibitive. 

    Noah now finds himself sidelined by thumb surgery, so for the Bulls to compete with the Celtics and Heat for Eastern Conference supremacy, they do need to make an addition.

    It doesn't necessarily need to be an exceedingly impactful player in Anthony's vein, though, with Derrick Rose playing at an MVP level and Carlos Boozer showing why the Bulls invested so heavily in him this summer.

3. Where Will Chris Paul Go Now?

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 7:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets drives against Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 7, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    If Anthony were on his way to the New York Knicks in this trade, there would be hardly any suspense surrounding Chris Paul's free agency following the 2011-12 season.

    Paul, Anthony and Amare Stoudemire had previously jested about joining forces in Madison Square Garden the way LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade did in Miami.

    Now, however, Paul will have to choose between his two friends this summer. Stoudemire and Anthony could split Paul's loyalties, too, displacing him to the West Coast. It will be interesting.

4. A Sea Change In The Trade Environment

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05:  Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs takes a shot in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 5, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The past few years have seen frantic trades around the annual deadline, as teams have battled to clear cap space for top-flight free agents like James, Bosh and Boozer.

    With the biggest potential prize of the summer of 2011 off the market, though, those deals might not materialize.

    The Spurs are good enough not to want to trade Tony Parker, and he just signed a multiyear extension in October, so he won't be hitting the market anytime soon.

    Some teams will still be clamoring to clear cap room, but without many key impact guys on the market, this prospective crop does not figure to inspire frenetic transactions this winter.

5. The Nets May Have Their Key To The City

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    NEW YORK - MAY 19:  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L), and rapper and New Jersey Nets basketball team co-owner Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter (R), attend a breakfast meeting at Gracie Mansion May 19, 2010 in New York City.  The rapper has been involved with
    Chris Hondros/Getty Images

    Although Jay-Z is now a small minority owner of the Nets, his long-term dream for the team—a move from Jersey into Brooklyn—may yet come true.

    The Nets badly want to bite into the New York media market in a bigger way, and Anthony may help pave that road.

    Missing out on James and others was a body blow for the team's relocation aspirations, but Anthony would immediately heal those wounds and make way for one heck of a rivalry between the possible pair of New York clubs.

6. The Balance Of Power Keeps Swinging To The East

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09:  Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks drives around Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 109-87.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    It was not long ago that the Lakers, Nuggets, Mavericks, Spurs, Jazz and Suns all were competitors on even footing with the best the Eastern Conference could offer.

    Suddenly, only San Antonio and (on their good days) Los Angeles can offer a real threat to the Heat, Celtics and Magic.

    Anthony's arrival does not make the Nets instant contenders, but he does represent yet another prodigious talent moving to the East.

    Stoudemire and Boozer made similar moves last summer. 

7. The Road Gets Tougher

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    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 16:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics celebrates a basket as Jason Collins #34 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts in the second half on December 16, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Hawks 102-90
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Miami and Boston have each benefited this season from the ability to coast through a fistful of games against Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers. The two are a combined 41-9 against the East on the season.

    Even if the Nets remain beatable, and they will, Anthony still forces those Goliaths to play more intense defense and to use their bench less often in what might otherwise have been an oasis game.

    That kind of shift favors teams with depth, in this case the Bulls and Magic, rather than those with supreme front-line talent like Boston and Miami.

8. Ben Gordon Is Free at Last

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 03:  Ben Gordon #7 of the Detroit Pistons against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Finally, after splitting time with Hamilton for too long in light of the contract he signed with Detroit, Ben Gordon will get full-time minutes in Motown.

    The Pistons wanted this; so did Gordon. Even Hamilton is probably happy to escape that situation, as each man is a rhythm shooter and neither was able to find a rhythm in limited opportunities.

    Gordon's expanded role will not make this year's Pistons less of a doormat, but the team now has Hamilton's big contract (two more years and $25 million) off its books and can fully commit to rebuilding.

9. Devin Harris Had Better Be Worth It

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    BOSTON - NOVEMBER 24:  Devin Harris #34 of the New Jersey Nets drives to the basket in the second half against the Boston Celtics on November 24, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the nets 89-83. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Nuggets made Devin Harris the centerpiece of their side of this deal. They will get two first-round picks from the Nets as well, but Harris and Derrick Favors provide nearly all the short-term value in this trade on the Denver side.

    Harris is 27, hardly ancient but not the sort of super-youth that might normally be involved in a deal like this.

    Favors fills that role as a young player with a high ceiling, but Harris is markedly better and must be the defender and shooter he was as recently as 2008-09, rather than the one he has been this season.

    If he is, the Nuggets have a point guard they can build upon and from whom they can get the scoring they'll need. If he is not, this deal falls flat in the Rocky Mountains.

10. The Cupboard Is Not Bare In New Jersey

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 22:  Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets shoots the ball over Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on December 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.    The Hornets defeated the Nets 105-91.   NOT
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    When Denver and New Jersey began discussing this deal, the Nuggets surely asked about Brook Lopez, a player not unlike Noah (whom they were tangibly pursuing) who scores and rebounds and makes a difference as a low-post defender.

    Naturally, as did the Bulls, the Nets beat back those advances. 

    Pulling off this deal without surrendering Lopez is a big win for the Nets, who expanded the deal to include a lot of money and players in order to make that feasible.

    Anthony will have not only a solid supporting cast accompanying him to Jersey, but also Lopez, Travis Outlaw and Jordan Farmar ready to fill their roles.

    It is hard not to like the group New Jersey is bringing together.