Carmelo Anthony will not be headed to the New Jersey Nets this season. At least that's what Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told us today.
New Jersey held a press conference in which Prokhorov announced that he'd instructed team management to cut off all trade talks regarding Anthony today.
What this decision boils down to, is the fact that Denver's asking price was extremely high. I personally feel like this is the correct choice for the Nets, but that is a topic for an entirely different article.
So, now the question is: If not Jersey... Where?
Chicago, New York and Houston are all teams that will certainly surface in the rumor mill over the next couple days. However, there is another team that makes more sense (and can offer a better deal) than any of those previously mentioned clubs.
I first explored the idea of Carmelo Anthony going to the Mavericks back in early October. I revisited the possibility after Caron Butler went down. Suffice it to say, I'd love to see a deal sending Carmelo Anthony to the Dallas Mavericks.
At this moment, I can see a deal that looks something like this going down:
Dallas Gets: Carmelo Anthony
Denver Gets: Rodrigue Beaubois, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler's expiring contract, two future first-round picks and two future second-round picks
This article will explore 10 reasons the Mavericks make a lot of sense for Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets.
The last time Carmelo Anthony played with a true pass-first point guard was back in 2006 when the Nuggets had Andre Miller.
'Melo was fantastic alongside a distributing point guard, and Dallas's Jason Kidd is even better than Miller ever was.
Kidd will be able to get Anthony the kind of looks he's only dreamed of.
Dallas boasts two of the world's most famous owners. One of them has the hardware that the other desperately wants, and Mark Cuban has demonstrated that he will do everything in his power to get a ring.
He not only uses his money to go after big-name players, but he treats them like kings once they arrive on the team. The Mavericks enjoy amenities and perks that even fellow NBA players envy.
What should be more important to 'Melo is Cuban's insatiable desire for winning. With the 32-year-old Dirk Nowitzki's star bound to start fading in the next four or five years, Cuban will put time, effort and resources into building a deep and talented team to surround Anthony well beyond his prime.
There has been a recent, significant shift of power to the Eastern Conference. If 'Melo stays in the West, he could be on a team at the top of its conference for the next several years.
If he heads to one of the Eastern Conference teams that covet his services, he'll have to compete with rising superpowers Chicago, Miami, Orlando and New York.
Prior to Caron Butler's injury, Dallas was pretty much set at each position. His torn patellar tendon opened up a pretty big hole at small forward.
Dallas could use depth at both forward positions, and Anthony can play both.
Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Halfway through his ninth season as a head coach in the league, Carlisle is 412-284 in the regular season. He also won the league's Coach of the Year award in 2002 with the Detroit Pistons.
Carmelo Anthony has spent a large portion of his career playing for another great coach in George Karl. However, sometimes people just need a change of scenery.
Karl has helped Carmelo to blossom as an offensive superstar, but coach Carlisle will be able to channel 'Melo's great talent toward defense, and help him become a more complete player.
Carlisle has taken a team that was once notorious for bad defense, and turned them into one of the league's best on that end of the court.
He'll be able to integrate Anthony quickly and efficiently into that system.
Denver wants a young player with the potential to become a superstar as a part of any deal for Carmelo Anthony. Rodrigue Beaubois is that.
They would make an extremely small backcourt, but Denver's Ty Lawson and Beaubois would combine to form one of the most exciting and explosive guard tandems in the league.
As a rookie last season, Beaubois averaged over 20 points per 36 minutes, and spent most of his time on the floor as a shooting guard.
He's extremely quick, athletic and can flat-out shoot. He shot 51 percent from the field, and 41 percent from three-point range.
As a Mavericks fan, I would actually be pretty sad to see Beaubois go, considering the fact that Jason Kidd is in the twilight of his career.
I'd love to see Roddy B's career explode in Dallas, but if he could be what it takes for the Mavericks to get Carmelo Anthony, I'm willing to watch him go (I live near Denver, so I wouldn't mind seeing him blossom there, either).
As part of the trade I laid out in the intro, Denver would also receive Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler's expiring contract.
Haywood has a pretty bad deal that not many teams will want to take on, but Denver could definitely use some depth behind Nene. Chris Andersen is always dealing with injuries, and Shelden Williams is undersized and not productive.
Haywood's numbers may not look great this year, but that's just on the surface. He's actually quite productive in the time he's given. He's averaging 8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 59 percent from the field.
The fact that Butler's contract will expire at the end of the season will serve to soften the sting of taking on Haywood's big deal.
Plus, if Butler fully recovers, Denver could sign him in the offseason for quite a bargain following such a serious injury.
The NBA is due for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) this offseason, and there is a good chance players will be making significantly less money under the new deal.
However, any contracts signed before the new CBA goes through, must be honored. If Carmelo Anthony finishes this season without signing the extension Denver has offered him, he'll miss out on millions of dollars.
Even if he's traded to Dallas without signing the extension, there's a chance he'd sign a different extension with Dallas after spending some time within such a strong organization.
Carmelo has played alongside some great players in Denver, but none of them compare to Dallas's Dirk Nowitzki.
If you look at all the championship teams of the past 10 years, they all had at least two legitimate superstars (with the possible exception of the Detroit Pistons).
Nowitzki and Anthony would combine to make one of the greatest offensive combos we've ever seen. There would not be many, if any, forward tandems that could contain them.
Playing with Nowitzki would complement Carmelo's slashing ability, because his great range stretches out interior defenses and would give 'Melo more room to operate around the basket.
Dallas owns the rights to all of their future first- and second-round draft picks, plus the rights to two more future second-round picks from Toronto and Minnesota.
Denver has said that they want five first-round picks to be a part of any deal involving Carmelo. I do not see any team in the league completely throwing their future at Denver like that, but Dallas may be willing to offer more than many other squads.
Their roster is full of players that are already firmly established, and Cuban tends to build teams through trades and free-agency more than the draft.
I could see them parting with as many as four total picks. Two first-round and two second-round picks would be a huge return or Denver.
Ever since the possibility of Carmelo going to the Nets surfaced, one big question dealt with his willingness to go to a team that won just 12 games last year.
That wasn't as much of a concern before the season, when there was still some excitement surrounding the Nets future. Now, with New Jersey in the Eastern Conference's cellar once again, many wondered how Carmelo would feel about scratching and clawing just to earn the eighth seed in the East.
Compare that situation to Dallas. Even after the team went through a rough patch without Dirk Nowitzki recently, they're still third in the West and they just beat the Lakers handily tonight.
Carmelo fills the only real hole in Dallas's roster (SF/PF), and he would take them from playoff-lock to legitimate championship contender.
What do you think? Does Dallas have a legitimate shot at Carmelo Anthony?
How would he fit in Dallas?
If the hypothetical trade I proposed were to go through, would Dallas be the favorites in the West?
Share all your thoughts in the comments section.