Carmelo Anthony: 8 Reasons The Melo-Drama Would Be a Net Loss to New Jersey
Last year Miami, New York, Chicago and New Jersey all bid on LeBron James' talents and believed they had a shot. The Clippers did too, but even they knew they weren't in the running. Miami got the big prize, landing both Chris Bosh and James. New York and Chicago collected consolation prizes in Amar'e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer respectively. The Nets got Troy Murphy, the booby prize.
Since then they've been trying to compensate by scooping up Carmelo Anthony. In their efforts to land him, they've established that there's almost no price to high for the Nets. Caught up in the fray of the auction, they've lost sight of whether the prize is really worth the price.
According to the rumors of the eventual cost, the team is overpaying, and may be landing another decade of futility. Following are ten reasons why the Nets should stop and reconsider before they the auctioneer's final hammer falls.
8. It's Too Early To Give Up on Derrick Favors
The Nets just spent a third overall choice on Derrick Favors. The 19 year old has a very high ceiling, perhaps even higher than Anthony's. Is he a great player right now? Of course not. But in four years when he's starting to hit his prime and Anthony is hitting his 30s there's a very good chance that he'll be better than Melo. So in part right off the tee, the question is whether it's worth four years of 'Melo. Throw in all the other first round picks and it just doesn't make sense. The Nets need to be thinking of the future, not the present.
7. Rip Hamilton Is Old
At 32, Rip Hamilton is not what he used to be. And let's be honest, what he used to be wasn't really that magnificent to begin with. He's only topped per game averages of 20 points twice in his career, and he hasn't done that since 2006. He's now shooting a whopping .409 from the field. That doesn't scream NBA Championship and it's not likely he's going to improve.
6. Chauncey Buillups Is Even Older and Doesn't Want To Be There
In his day, Chauncey Billups was a great player. He's still a good player, but not a great player. He's also only shooting .418 from the field. Throw in the fact that he doesn't want to leave his hometown of Denver. You're not making the case for a hungry player who wants to prove himself. He's got his ring and he's happy and content to while away his senior NBA years in Denver and apparently wants no part of the bright lights and big city.
Yes, he's got experience playing with both Rip and Anthony, so I understand the attraction. But it's trying to catch lightening in a bottle. If the Nets were to get him, it would only be for the remainder of the season. I doubt he wants to spend a lot of time on Jersey Shore. Is it really worth it?
5. The Collective Bargaining Agreement Is About To End
With the Collective Bargaining Agreement coming to an end there's an extra layer of uncertainty added. What if there's a hard salary cap? If Billups bolts, then they're going to need to acquire a new and veteran point guard as Anthony's not going to be happy with a rookie running the point. Throw that salary on top of Anthony's and then you're going to have a tight salary situation come time to re-sign their young star, Brock Lopez.
The CBA uncertainty makes it inadvisable to be signing a big long term deal right now.
4. Draft Choices Are Going Up In Value Right Now
Because of the uncertainty around the CBA, right now draft choices are going up in value. The Nuggets know that the Nets are willing to overpay, so they're overcharging. They stand to get an entire team while relieving themselves of some contract burdens. If the trade were to go through as proposed, the Nuggets would be a better team by 2014 than the Nets would be at that time.
If the Nets were close to winning it would be one thing. But they aren't.
3. Avery Johnson Is a Defensive Coach
Chauncey Billups is a good defensive player but Rip Hamilton shows little interest in it, and Anthony has never presented himself to the challenge of becoming a great defensive player. Putting this team together could be a bit like putting a square peg in a round hole. The personnel wouldn't fit well with the coach.
These aren't young players either, willing to take the coach's way. They're going to prefer to take their own way, and that means that there's going to be potential friction on the team. It's a bad match.
2. The Window Is Too Short and It's Not Even Open
In the East you have the Miami Heat, led by the "Heatles." You have the Eastern Conference champs who are showing they aren't going to take a step back and give way to the younger upstarts. You have the Orlando Magic, who have been downright magical since their big acquisitions. You have the young and rapidly improving and hard charging Bulls. You have the duo of Stoudemire and Felton taking their bite out of the Big Apple. You even have the Atlanta Hawks who have been flying of late.
That accounts for six teams that are uncatchable in the East for the Nets. The best playoff seeding they could hope for in the first round would be a seventh seed, where they'd get the opportunity most likely to lose to either Miami or Boston in the opening round of the playoffs.
The new look Nets just wouldn't have the personnel to compete with the beasts in the East. With the Billups uncertainty, the CBA uncertainty, and so on, it might only be a half year window. By the time 2012 starts, Hamilton will 34, Billups will be gone, and the window will be shut.
Meanwhile, Favors will be turning the ripe old age of 22 and beginning to shine like a star in Denver.
1: Carmelo Anthony Just Isn't Good Enough
Anthony is great scorer who has upped his rebounding this season, but if the last several years in Denver have shown anything, it's that he's simply not a player that you can build an NBA champion around. While LeBron James never won a ring, he at least had some post season success. Anthony on the other hand only made it out of the first round once in eight tries. His lack of improvement in the other aspects of his game make him the kind of player you add to a team that's a player away. He's not the kind of player you build a championship team around. In short, he's just not good enough.