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