Fortunately for everyone involved, the Carmelo Anthony saga will come to an end within the next day or two.
With all the drama, false reports, and twists and turns that have happened since this thing started, I can't help but believe that this could and should have been settled a long time ago; and here is why.
First the facts.
First, regardless of how good the Nets were, are, or are going to be, they will never have the fan base or generate the buzz that a good Knicks team at the Garden would. If you are forcing your way out of Denver and risking the same scorn and stigma that Lebron did, then at minimum you don't settle for second best.
The problem is that Melo is trying to make everyone happy, and get what he wants too. He has done Denver a favor by letting them know in advance that he won't sign (even though he publicly says he is considering it) the extension so they can get some assets in return.
This way no one can accuse him of being Lebron James junior because he sunk a franchise by not being forth-right with them about his intentions.
He won't say anything negative about the Nets because he doesn't want to come off as arrogant and a snob, especially with one of his good friends being a part owner. Melo appreciates being stroked and courted, and it benefits him if the Nets feel they are very much in the running.
He makes the Knicks happy by not signing the extension Denver has on the table; that speaks more loudly than anything he could possibly say. The problem with this deal is that everyone's emotions are in it, making this more complicated than it should have been.
In the end, this is a business deal that has become a soap opera.
Denver hates the Knicks because they believe New York tampered with Melo while under contract with them, and, of course, simply because they are New York.
I am convinced that the Nets would only be sticking it to the Knicks by getting a deal done. That is part of the reason they have asked for the Knicks to gut their team. What I can't figure out is why Carmelo sits on the sidelines while his soon to be former employer sabatage his and their chances of getting a ring with the organization he is planning on joining.
As he stated, it pleased the Net's owner that he at least was able force the Knicks to give up more and make them weaker. This shows that as far as the Nets are concerned, it is all out war for the hearts of the fans in the New York, New Jersey area.
Knicks management and ownership better watch out and wise up.
The Russian owner of their out of state rival means business, and if they cannot get the players they want they will be glad to hurt the Knicks, and as we have seen, that is not too hard to do with Dolan as the owner.
That brings me to another point. Dolan has seemingly taken over the negotiations from Walsh, which is a bad thing in my mind. Dolan has taken a stance that says get Melo at any cost. When that happens you are bound to get ripped off.
The Knicks owner, as we know, is not the brightest basketball mind in the NBA, and I am being nice. Anyone who would continue to court Isiah Thomas after he ruined the franchise should have their head examined.
If they get ripped off it will be the fault of Carmelo Anthony.
Why? Because he could have stopped everything.
Even if he wanted to have the $65 million in his pocket and be a Knick, it wouldn't be that difficult to do. He has the power to make Denver play ball.
All Melo has to do is tell Denver he is not signing an extension with the Nets, and that he wants them to play ball with New York, and if they try to gut their team, as they are doing, he will signal the Knicks to not do the trade, and he will see them in the off-season.
Denver has two choices at that point—they can refuse and be left with nothing when Melo leaves as a free agent, or do a reasonable deal with New York and start to rebuild.
That leaves him vulnerable to the collective bargaining agreement, as he will not have his extension signed, sealed and delivered. This is obviously the sticking point with Carmelo.
What does he want more, the money or the Knicks?
At first I thought it was the Knicks, but I am convinced he wants the money first, and then the Knicks. Why else would he let Denver abuse New York with their outrageous demands, which would hurt his chances of playing on a championship ready team?
In the end, Melo would make up any losses financially just from playing in New York. He needs to take a page out of Lebron's book. Bosh and Lebron took less so they could join Wade and win.
Melo should do no less.
If he is serious about coming home and being part of a championship team, then he should go the free agent rout so they don't have to lose key players. At minimum Melo should not want to see the team he is going to severely weakened because of him.
For the Knicks part, they should call Denver's and the Net's bluff. I'd make them a reasonable offer that doesn't include Raymond Felton. If Denver doesn't want that, then tough. See how Melo fares in New Jersey with just him, Brook Lopez, and his five rebounds per game.
The only way this trade makes sense is if it clears the way for the Knicks to add Deron Williams or Chris Paul after the 2012 season. If they are reasonably sure that will happen, then do this deal. The players involved know for sure whether this is the plan.
I just have a feeling that the Nuggets and Nets are playing the Knicks for suckers.
If Melo wanted to be there, the previous deal with the Nets would have went through already. If this deal with the Knicks goes through, I would not be surprised if Denver and the Nets do deals with the former Knick players, which would be a disaster for the Knicks.
Melo, please take charge of this situation and don't be so selfish. Don't let your new team pay such a prise for acquiring you that they may never recover from. Stop acting like the victim; you are not the victim here. Step up and take control, like Lebron did. Denver doesn't care, and they will jerk you around to get what they want.
Don't look at the loss of money know. Look at the future and how much you could make in New York, and the fact that you will be on a championship ready team in a couple of short years.