Part of being a fan is sticking with your team through thick and thin. And I have stuck with the Nets through the Stephon Marbury era, through the good times with Jason Kidd and the years of postpartum depression that followed. Now that the Nets are looking to bring in the Melo, I’m not so sure that this would be such a great idea.
Now that the Carmelo Anthony trade talk appears to have hit its zenith, the only thing that’s preventing both teams from pushing the trade button is Carmelo himself.
While Anthony is averaging 23.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists, I still have some reservations about him. No doubt Carmelo is a great player, but at what cost will he come to New Jersey?
With the deal hanging in the air, let’s see what other players are involved in the deal, mainly the ones that the Nets will most likely acquire besides Anthony.
What the Denver Nuggets stand to gain is Derrick Favors, two first-round picks and five players—Devin Harris, Anthony Murrow, Quinton Ross, Ben Uzoh and Stephen Graham. The Nets will also send Johan Petro and Troy Murphy and his expiring contract to the Detroit Pistons.
Keep in mind that Harris and Murrow are the Nets' second and third leading scorers (Brook Lopez is the leading scorer).
What are the Nets getting in return?
If the deal goes down as it’s currently being discussed, the Nets will receive Chauncey Billups from Denver and Richard Hamilton from Detroit.
Billups, 34, is averaging 16.9 ppg and 4.9 assists, his lowest numbers since 2004-05 and 2002-03, respectively. His worth, however, isn’t in the numbers, but in his leadership in the locker room and clutch play on the floor. Plus, playing alongside Brook Lopez should increase his overall production.
I’m not sold on Devin Harris as a difference-making point guard, but I’m all for Chauncey Billups taking the reigns of the Nets. He could be a steadying force that Jason Kidd once was to the Nets. And the Nets would thrive under Billups and his championship experience.
Harris is a good player, but he has that “Allen Iverson shoot-first point guard syndrome” that doesn’t usually create wins. A point guard simply can’t distribute when he’s scoring. And that is despite Harris averaging 6.8 assists.
It’s too bad that Billups doesn’t want to play in Newark. The Nets losing him through a buyout will save them some cap space, but not being able to hold on to a player of Billups’ caliber would be devastating.
Richard Hamilton, 32, an offensive specialist, is averaging 13.2 ppg, his lowest since his rookie year. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good, because just last year, Rip averaged 18.1 points.
Al Harrington is a familiar name around the Tri-State area since not so long ago he wore the orange and blue of the Knicks uniform. I’m sure Knicks fans are happy that Harrington is far away. Do you remember the couple of games that Harrington cost the Knicks by hanging on the rim a little too much and getting T’d up?
The Nuggets certainly want to shed Harrington’s $33.4 million contract because most certainly they’re looking back and regretting the signing of a player that is currently producing 12.1 ppg and 5.1 rpg. And why would the Nets want to add a player that is underperforming when they already have Travis Outlaw?
Is parting with Devin Harris, Derrick Favors (I'm guessing the Nets have given up on him) and the two first-round draft picks enough incentive for the Nets? Yes, it definitely seems so. But how are the Nets expected to compete when they move almost half of their roster. It takes time to build chemistry.
Maybe the Nets aren’t worried because they have the deep pockets of Mikhail Prokhorov at their disposal. However, with a stiffer collective bargaining agreement looming after this season, Prokhorov’s deep pockets might not matter at all.
Again, what kind of team will come to Brooklyn in two years?
You can follow Artem "Professor Dunk" Altman on Twitter: @ProfessorDunk or visit www.professordunk.com.
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