Denver Losing a Nugget? Why Waiting To Trade Carmelo Won't Be So Sweet After All

Ryan Neiman@RyanNAnthony Contributor IIIJanuary 21, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Miami Heat at the Pepsi Center on January 13, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Sometimes, playing hard to get isn't always the best approach. It can back fire, as arrogance can be a terrible deal-breaker. 

Eventually, the act gets old and tiresome.

The Denver Nuggets' current approach with Carmelo Anthony is starting to look painful.  One moment, they want to trade him, and the next moment, they do not.  With every day passing by and the closer we get to the playoffs, the value of Carmelo decreases.

Carmelo has not made it any secret his destination is elsewhere, preferably New York, so it is foolish for the Nuggets to hold onto Carmelo.  Even if the Nuggets have the money to retain Carmelo, which is highly unlikely, Carmelo is going to make his escape somewhat similar to Shaquille O'Neal leaving the Magic.  The Magic had the chance to trade O'Neal, but they thought he was going to stay. 

However, eventually, a player wants to have their chance to win, as did O'Neal when he bolted from Orlando to go to the L.A. Lakers.  While there, he managed to win a NBA Championship with Kobe Bryant.  

Carmelo knows he can not win in Denver, and his logical choice is the New York Knicks, where he can be Amare Stoudemire's Kobe.

If the Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri had any sense in him, he would look to unload Carmelo, and he would try to grab as much as he can in return for him.  Carmelo is a huge star and he is a franchise player.  This makes it understandable that Ujiri would like a lot in return for him, but he has to understand a team will not sacrifice their whole future for what possibly could be a rental player.

New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has ended his current pursuit of Carmelo because he finally concluded that it would be foolish for him to trade all of these draft picks to the Nuggets when he could just wait to the end of the season where he could offer Carmelo the money he wants. 

Prokhorov admitted he was disappointed with the way the deal went and he said it was taking a toll on the team as well.  Prokhorov claimed the talks about trading for Carmelo may have lost some of his players' focus on the game in front of them, and it may have contributed to several losses.  

The Nets offered to ship six players and at least two first round draft picks to Denver that would have sent Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Richard Hamilton to the Nets.  Prokhorov decided he was not ready to overpay, and he did not want to make a mistake with a blockbuster trade like this one.  He said he did not want to "ruin his team's future." 

With the Nuggets not accepting any deals for Carmelo, they may be ruining their own future.

Today, more teams are willing to wait for their draft picks to develop instead of taking a risk with a huge trade, like the one involving Carmelo.  The trade the Nets offered could have possibly been the best deal the Nuggets would have been offered if they eventually decided to trade Carmelo.  Most likely, they will not receive as much in return from other teams, and as each month passes by, the less likely teams will want to trade for Carmelo.

The Nuggets can benefit from a trade similar to this due to the great draft picks they would receive.  The Nuggets have to realize Carmelo already has his bags packed, and they need to do everything in their own power to ensure they have a stable future.  By trading Carmelo and receiving numerous amounts of draft picks, it will guarantee they can rebuild for the future.  Instead, the Nuggets are playing their own little game, which will most likely leave them left in the dust.

Most importantly, how do you think Carmelo Anthony feels about these trade rumors?  An organization that drafted him out of Syracuse is trying to do whatever they can to save their future by trading Carmelo, who originally was their future.  Like the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, the Nuggets should have continued to build a team around Carmelo instead of adding aging stars. 

Today, the Nuggets are in this spot where they know they have to trade Carmelo or they will lose him to free agency, and they will have nothing to help them rebuild from scratch.  They will be handed a piece of paper, but they will not be given anything to write with.

If the Nuggets were to trade Carmelo, these draft picks will help them survive a trade involving Carmelo.  If they do not make any kind of trade, who knows the devastation that may occur in Denver?

Sure, playing hard to get may be fun, but that is until you are the only one who hasn't been asked to the dance.