As the February 24th deadline approaches, speculation about Carmelo Anthony's possible destinations is running rampant.
He has been linked to the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and his dream location, the New York Knicks. While Nuggets' management hopes to swing a deal, they have also stated that they are content to keep 'Melo and take a chance that they can convince him to stay or work out a sign and trade with another club.
At any rate, the next sixteen days are going to full of excitement and speculation for NBA fans.
A once rumoured mega deal, involving three teams and ten plus players, has been called dead by the Nets owner. Could this be a ploy to lower the deal? Or do the Nets no longer feel that this is the best deal for them at the moment?
No one knows for sure, but for the Nuggets, this was the best deal that had been publicly reported.
Here is the reported deal broken down:
To Denver: Two New Jersey first round picks, Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Quinton Ross, Stephen Graham and Ben Uzoh
To New Jersey: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton
To Detroit: Troy Murphy, Johan Petro and a New Jersey second round pick
In a report today, the Lakers and Nuggets have started talks that centered around Andrew Bynum being part of a package to bring Anthony to L.A.
While the move could be risky for both sides, it could also be beneficial.
With Anthony's deal set to expire at the end of the season, he could end up leaving L.A., and they would be left with nothing. For Denver, Bynum has shown promise, but knee problems have kept him from the court and could leave his once promising career at a stand still.
Bynum's deal could be attractive to the Nuggets. Though he is owed thirty million dollars over the next two years, the final year of his deal is a team option.
While the particulars haven't been disclosed, the deal could break down to look like this.
To Denver: Andrew Bynum (centerpiece), draft picks, and a combination of Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter, Shannon Brown
To Los Angeles: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has long expressed his desire to play basketball in New York City. Rumors started with a toast at his wedding and have continued to grow as the deadline approaches.
The proposed deal is a three-team trade with Denver, New York and Minnesota all swapping players.
To New York: Carmelo Anthony
To Minnesota: Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph
To Denver: Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer, and Minnesota's first-round draft pick. Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields could also find themselves as part of this deal in someway
The Hornets Chris Paul exclaimed during the summer that he would also like to be a part of a "Big Three."
While New Orleans isn't a destination that Anthony has expressed interest in, he could open up to the idea of playing with friend Chris Paul.
The Nuggets have expressed an interest in gaining salary cap relief. A deal with the Hornets would allow them to get quality players back with cap-friendly deals.
To New Orleans: Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington
To Denver: Trevor Ariza, David West, and Marcus Banks
The Houston Rockets are a long shot to acquire Anthony, but he expressed some interest in playing in Houston.
The deal doesn't need a third team, but the Bobcats could play a role in taking on expiring contracts, since the team has been losing money.
A three way deal with Houston, Charlotte and Denver could look like this:
To Charlotte: Jared Jeffries, Shane Battier and a pick from Houston
To Houston: Carmelo Anthony and Dominic McGuire
To Denver: Gerald Wallace, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill
A two team deal with Houston and Denver would look like this:
To Houston: Carmelo Anthony, Ronaldo Balkman, and Al Harrington
To Denver: Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, and Yao Ming. One or both of Houston's draft picks would most likely be included in this scenario. Also, Yao could be replaced by Aaron Brooks, Shane Battier, and Jared Jeffries if Denver requests cap relief.
Mark Cuban has expressed an interest in "renting" Anthony for the remainder of the season to help make a run at the elusive title. The deal would have to hinge on the Nuggets' request for cap relief.
While on paper the deal looks very one sided, it has the potential to clear some salary.
If a team like Minnesota is included, the Nuggets could clear more salary and stock pile more picks.
To Dallas: Carmelo Anthony
To Denver: Rodrigue Beaubois, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Sebastian Telfair, two Dallas first-rounders, and a pick from Minnesota
To Minnesota: Al Harrington
During the off-season, Anthony was discussed in a deal that would send him to Chicago, while Joakim Noah would be part of a package heading back to Denver.However, The Bulls weren't interested in parting ways with Noah.
For this deal to be completed, a third team would most likely need to be involved to allow Anthony to head to Chicago. Memphis could be enlisted to complete the deal.
To Chicago: Carmelo Anthony and Hamed Haddadi
To Denver: Luol Deng and O.J. Mayo
To Memphis: C.J. Watson, James Johnson, Aaron Afflalo, first-round pick from Chicago