NBA trade rumors regarding the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets over Carmleo Anthony have stalled and the proposed deal may be in serious jeopardy of collapsing.
If the Nuggets were to balk at the Nets offer, New Jersey is still in good shape for the future.
New Jersey has five first-round draft picks over the next two years and they already have some nice, young talent on the roster that can turn into stars.
If the Nuggets wimp out, who can the Nets go after instead?
Nets Give: Troy Murphy, First-round draft pick
Nets Get: Jamal Crawford
With Jamal Crawford, the New Jersey Nets get a dynamic scorer capable of taking over games.
They would finally get value out of Murphy's expiring contract and if they can lock Crawford into a reasonable contract extension, they'll be in far better shape than they are now.
The Nets would undoubtedly have to give at least one draft pick, which makes it worthwhile for the Hawks.
The chances of the Hawks giving Crawford an extension are looking slim, so they might as well try and get something out of him.
Nets Give: Troy Murphy, Kris Humphries, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: Carl Landry, Francisco Garcia, Jason Thompson
There's little to no chance that the Kings retain Carl Landry, so trading him away would actually bring back something of value to the team.
While Francisco Garcia has found his way into the starting lineup, he is criminally under used by coach Westphal. Garcia is extremely versatile and very talented. Many teams would love to have him around.
Jason Thompson was shopped around earlier this season and he could very well still be in play. He's still young with a fair amount of upside and the Nets could use some added size up front if they were to trade away two of their power forwards.
The Kings would be getting some cap relief, but most importantly, they'll be getting draft picks. Sacramento would be best off building up through smart drafting and adding young talent to surround Tyreke Evans.
Nets Give: Troy Murphy, Kris Humphries, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: Andray Blatche, Josh Howard, Yi Jianlin
The Washington Wizards are reportedly shopping Andray Blatche around the league. If there is any basis to these reports, the Nets should look at the Wizards as a potential trade partner.
Blatche is a versatile and talented forward. He has the versatility to play both the four and five, which would work well in a three-man rotation between Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors and him.
Of course, adding Blatche to the mix could hinder Favors development, but Favors has always been viewed as a project anyway.
Josh Howard gives the Nets an upgrade—albeit a small one—at small forward over Travis Outlaw.
For the Wizards, they get some valuable draft picks—probably a minimum of two, if not more—to help bring in some new pieces to surround John Wall.
Nets Give: Troy Murphy, Anthony Morrow, Kris Humphries, Johan Petro, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph, Hasheem Thabeet
O.J. Mayo's role in Memphis has diminished significantly and he doesn't appear to be in the team's future plans. His recent fight against Tony Allen only makes things worse.
New Jersey would get a potential star in the making with Mayo and he gives the team's backcourt an immediate upgrade.
Zach Randolph doesn't look like he'll be receiving an extension from Memphis and he could still bring value back to the team. For the Nets, Randolph gives them a low post presence and a capable rebounder to pick up the slack for Brook Lopez.
The Grizzlies would make out with two expiring contracts in Murphy and Humphries, but by the same token, both are capable power forwards that give the team depth in their front-court.
Anthony Morrow gives the Grizzlies a long-range specialist capable of picking up the void left by Mayo.
However, the most important aspect of this deal would be the draft picks coming back to Memphis. If they can get two first-round picks out of the Nets, it makes the offer all the more enticing.
Nets Give: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Johan Petro, draft pick(s)
Nets Get: Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks, Jared Jeffries
The Houston Rockets have been looking for a young, big man to fill up their front-court. They've had DeMarcus Cousins in their sights but were turned away.
Derrick Favors has more upside and is much more intriguing as a prospect. He has star potential written all over him and he has shown some of that early in the season.
Aaron Brooks and Devin Harris more or less cancel one another out. However, Brooks is far cheaper, but the Nets would likely require some sort of contract extension from Brooks.
With Kevin Martin, the Nets get a dynamic scorer that could give their offense a serious boost.
Plus, they would rid themselves of Johan Petro's contract and get a versatile defensive stopper in Jared Jeffries.
New Jersey may have to include some draft picks to push the deal through.
Nets Give: Devin Harris, Kris Humphries, Troy Murphy, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: James Harden, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, Nick Collison
Pairing Devin Harris with Russell Westbrook makes for a dangerous and explosive backcourt. While both are point guards, they're both playmaking scorers that could actually complement each other quite nicely.
Westbrook is easily capable of playing the two and both Harris and him help space the floor out for one another.
Jeff Green is having a solid year, but he's playing out of position and the team's interior defense is hurts due to him being undersized. Plus, the Thunder may not even extend him anyways.
Kris Humphries and Troy Murphy immediately help fill that void left in the middle and the Thunder would also rid themselves of Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison's contracts.
Losing James Harden would be the hardest pill to swallow for the Thunder. He has a ton of potential, but he's been inconsistent thus far. The Nets could use someone like him to help build up a talented young roster and the Thunder would be compensated with one or two first-round draft picks.
Nets Give: Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: Gerald Wallace, D.J. Augustin, Desagna Diop
Charlotte has had Devin Harris in their sights for some time, and they may be able to pry him away if Carmelo Anthony is no longer on the horizon for the Nets. The Bobcats would also get back at least one or two first-round draft picks to help rebuild the franchise.
For the Nets, they win out in this deal just the same.
D.J. Augustin is a capable point guard who is far cheaper than Devin Harris. If he's not starting, he could backup Jordan Farmar just as well.
The Nets big prize in all of this would be Gerald Wallace. He's a do-it-all small forward and one of the few elite perimeter defenders in the NBA. The Nets are abysmal on defense and Wallace could give them a serious upgrade.
Nets Give: Devin Harris
Nets Get: Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez
The Portland Trail Blazers allegedly covet Devin Harris and the Nuggets stepping away would give them an opportunity.
Harris is and will always be injury-prone. Andre Miller happens to be the exact opposite. Miller is a true iron man and he rarely misses a game to injury. He still has several good years left and his veteran presence may make a big impact on the team.
Rudy Fernandez has been wallowing in Portland and he's made it no secret that he wants out. In New Jersey, Fernandez can easily grab control of the starting two-guard spot. He is productive when given the minutes and he could potentially thrive in New Jersey.
Nets Give: Anthony Morrow, Troy Murphy, First-round draft pick(s)
Nets Get: Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni
Andre Iguodala appears to be plan B for any and all teams gunning for Carmelo Anthony.
Iguodala may not be a number one option, but he's the perfect complement for a number of players. He gives the Nets a huge boost in their backcourt and he would pair well with Devin Harris.
However, most importantly, he gives Avery Johnson a strong perimeter defender. Something that the Nets sorely lack.
Philly would rid themselves of Andres Nocioni's contract, get Troy Murphy's expiring contract, and get a capable shooting guard in Anthony Morrow in return. This trade would also likely require two first-round draft picks from the Nets, an asset they have an abundance of.
Perhaps the moves that the Nets don't make will end up being the most important.
The Nets have a number of nice, young talent that they can and should develop instead of swinging for the fences now and jeopardizing the franchise's future.
With five first-round draft picks in the next two years, if the Nets draft well, they could build up a stable of young talent to build around.
New Jersey should look at teams like the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. One or two good draft picks can turn the fortunes of an entire franchise around.