Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: 10 Teams In the Running With Nets Out of Picture
It almost feels like it's still the summer of 2010, with the media awaiting another version of "The Decision." Carmelo Anthony could have his own issue of People Magazine with all of the rumors written about him.
He says his wife La La Vasquez isn't in control, but it's actually made her relevant again. So who's really got the pants, 'Melo?
Anthony recently let it slip that he feels the Nuggets will deal him before the February trade deadline. He's made it clear that there are only a few location he wants to go to, but that hasn't stopped Denver's GM Masai Ujiri from talking to everyone around the NBA.
It's not confirmed, but he may have also contacted the Oakland Raiders as well.
With a talent like Anthony available, it makes sense that every other team would be returning Ujiri's calls. The real issue is who has the assets to send back to Denver while simultaneously being able to take on some larger contracts.
So who's got the best chance? And what kind of deal will they have to propose to secure the Melo Man?
Note: These are sample, two-team trades. Do not look at the proposed deals as the only trades available, as the real deal could easily incorporate three or more teams. These just happen to work financially and aesthetically.
10. Portland Trailblazers
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony, Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington for Greg Oden, Nicolas Batum, Joel Pryzbilla, Elliot Williams, Luke Babbitt and Jerryd Bayless' Trade Exception
Portland clearly has a hole without its leading man in Brandon Roy, so getting Anthony would fill a very big hole.
Once Roy comes back, he will complete a trio that will truly blaze a trail.
If you look at what Portland gives up, it's a lot of a little. Batum is the most talented player there and someone Denver covets. Denver gets $13 million in salary cap relief, and two players with potential in Babbitt and Williams. If they can resign Oden for a good price and keep healthy, it's a steal.
That's a huge if.
Portland obviously gets Carmelo, but Afflalo is an underrated defender who's having a great year. Denver wants to shed Harrington's fat contract, and this trade turns that 5-year-deal into a bunch of short term contracts. Hope that sounds good.
9. Golden State Warriors
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman and Al Harrington for Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright
No, this deal doesn't turn Balkman and Harrington into shorter contracts, but the assets are certainly there.
Think Denver will miss Carmelo's scoring with Ellis firing away? Exactly.
But the goods don't end their. Biedrins and Wright both have a lot of upside, and can help fill in for Kenyon Martin and Nene once their deals expire. The Nuggets also get rid of two bad contracts, which seems to be a big goal for them.
On the Warriors side, it's still a solid trade. Putting Stephen Curry, Anthony, and David Lee on the court together is going to make any defense tremble. In that run-and-gun style, Melo will put up numbers to make the Oracle the raucous place it was in the 2007 playoffs.
8. Chicago Bulls
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington for Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, C.J. Watson and Brian Scalabrine and a 1st round draft pick
The Bulls have told so many news outlets they won't deal Joakim Noah that people have just come to accept it.
Still, if that Noah injury lingers, they might just change their minds.
The Nuggets love Noah on his own, but Deng and Watson will provide enough scoring to fill in in Anthony's absence. The Bulls, on the other hand, put Anthony with Rose and Boozer for one of the NBA's top trios and get a good bench player in Harrington.
Sure, Chicago has to give a up a draft pick, but it will be a low pick thanks to the success Anthony will bring the city.
7. Philadelphia 76ers
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen and Al Harrington for Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young and a 1st round draft pick
Doug Collins may have been a confusing hire at the beginning of the season, but if he can sway the higher ups to pull this kind of deal, he will truly learn what the City of Brotherly Love is about.
If not, he continues toward the same fate as Santa Claus in Philly.
The Nuggets will get the young talent in Andre Iguodala and a first round pick, but also a test run in Thaddeus Young, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Sure, they have to take on Elton Brand, but he's been having a solid season and can be relied on...briefly.
Philadelphia can look at their side of the deal in two ways. They got rid of two horrible deals and a pick in a weak draft, while acquiring two smaller ones and Anthony's immense skill. On the other hand, they have to look at Chris Andersen for a handful of years.
6. New Jersey Nets...still
Sample Trade: One of the many over-reported ones everyone has heard about already
Yes, Mikhail Prokhorov went on the record saying he would no longer pursue Anthony. He repeatedly insisted on it.
But that doesn't mean he won't field offers from the Nuggets.
Denver doesn't want to see Anthony leave for absolutely nothing, and as the trading deadline gets closer, they will lower their demands. Since the Nets were the closest to completing a deal, it seems logical the Nugs will at least give them a ring in February.
Also, Prokhorov seemed to overplay his hand. He said he wasn't interested in so many ways, it almost seemed like he was lying. If a trade makes his team New York's finest once they move to Brooklyn, I think he will do it.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Chris Andersen for Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Rodrigue Beaubois and Alexis Ajinca and a 1st round draft pick
This trade is a double dip for Denver, and considering Dallas doesn't care if Anthony resigns with them, may happen just so the Mavs can get back to the Finals.
And hopefully not repeat their performance from 2006.
Denver not only gets talent in Butler and Beaubois, but also get a huge salary break. If they don't retain Butler, Stevenson and Ajinca, they stand to save $16 million, leaving them as big players in the 2011 off-season.
The Mavericks, on the other hand, add Anthony to an extremely dangerous front court with Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. The Mavs have struggled without a second scorer to compliment the German sharpshooter, and Anthony fills that role in spades.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington for Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Rasual Butler, Craig Smith and a 1st round draft pick
This should be the number one trade on this list, considering it makes perfect sense of both teams.
It's hard to imagine the Clippers involved in something called "perfect," but there's a first time for anything.
Denver gets Kaman and Aminu, both of which are talented players and have a lot of potential. Butler and Smith are both on the last year of their deals, and if the Clips miss the playoffs, that draft pick could be extremely good.
But the Clippers can make out like bandits. Yes, Harrington is a little bit of a drag, but can anyone deny the Gordon-Anthony-Griffin trio? With a revitalized Baron Davis and an up and coming big man in DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers could be contending soon.
3. Houston Rockets
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington for Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Trevor Ariza's Trade Exception and a 1st round draft pick.
Actually, the Rockets could just trade Yao Ming for Carmelo Anthony, straight up. But since that doesn't bring any talent back to Denver, it seems unlikely.
But that doesn't stop the Rockets from being a front-runner.
Kevin Martin is having a phenomenal year, and Luis Scola can be the long term replacement for Kenyon Martin down low. A first round pick from the Rockets could be a late lottery pick, which would also help the Nuggets reload.
On Houston's side, they get Carmelo to run with Brooks, and if Yao can come back (at a reasonable price, that makes a dangerous inside-outside combo. Of course, that "if" isn't bigger than the Greg Oden "if," but still very risky.
2. Denver Nuggets
Considering the Nuggets are one of the only two teams Anthony has said he will sign an extension with, Denver automatically launches toward the top of the list.
Honestly, it may be his best choice. The Nuggets aren't far from being a perennial contender out West, and there are tons of reasons why he should stay.
But if you don't believe me, take a peek at this article. The author is a genius, and he makes a smart argument for 'Melo to stay at the Pepsi Center.
1. New York Knicks
Sample Trade: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington for Eddy Curry, Bill Walker, Landry Fields, Ronny Turiaf, Wilson Chandler and a 1st round draft pick
Even Carmelo Anthony admitted he thinks he will be traded. So it would make no sense for this list to stop any where else but New York.
The Nuggets love Walker and Fields, and the rest of their acquisitions here would be players on the last year of their deals. While it would make sense to resign Chandler, they don't have to and would get $17 million in salary cap relief. Also, they dump Harrington's long deal.
Honestly, people think Carmelo is distracted, but what about Harrington? The Nuggets went out of their way to overpay for him, and now are trying to trade him to anyone for anything.
Finally, New York gets their man, and if they complete their goal of getting Chris Paul to join the following year, the Knicks-Heat rivalry will be reborn.
If not, then whoever spends all this time photoshopping star players into Knicks' jerseys is going to be out of a job.