Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Denver Nuggets Must End Leaks and Embrace Reality

Adrian V.Correspondent IFebruary 15, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. 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

There was a wildly popular children's series on television between 1986-1991 called Pee-wee's Playhouse.  If you don't remember the show, it centered on the fictional character Pee-wee Herman, an ageless, fun-loving "boy" with effeminate mannerisms and off-the-wall facial expressions.

One of the show's highlights came at the start of each episode when Conky, a stuttering robot made of various electronics parts, printed out a "Secret Word of the Day."  Whenever such word was said during the episode, celebratory madness would ensue in the form of screams, laughter and gongs.

In honor of Pee-wee—well, maybe more so Conky; unlike Pee-wee, the robot was never caught masturbating in a Florida movie theater—I thought we'd create our own Secret Word of the Day as it pertains to the circus surrounding Carmelo Anthony's trade rumors.

The word is: alleged.  It's an adjective that, according to Merriam Webster, means "questionably true."

No need to jump and scream when we hear (or read) it—we've already been going bonkers every single time an alleged deal for Carmelo has been reported.

Why?  I have no idea.  After all, almost every questionably true trade rumor involving him has seemingly come out of Denver's camp or, more likely and even worse, Team Melo.

I have no proof of this, of course, but considering how this current "Melo-Drama" has played out in somewhat LeBronian fashion, it's not far-fetched to think "Worldwide Wes" is somehow involved.

When did you last see a team owner hold a press conference to essentially tell another team to go screw itself?  That's exactly what Mikhail Prokhorov did after growing tired of having his New Jersey Nets strung along as bait for a better offer.

Carmelo was never going to sign an extension with the Nets but he played a different card publicly.  His hope, and Denver's hope, was the New York Knicks—his first choice—would enter and win a bidding war with their crosstown rival.

No bite.

With the Nets out of the picture, Denver, or Team Melo, took another shot at luring the Knicks by leaking more questionable truths involving the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. 

Both Texas teams allegedly had interest in renting Carmelo but no specifics were revealed. The Bulls backhanded the Nuggets' request for Joakim Noah. ESPN reported the Lake Show was entering the fray and considering dealing Andrew Bynum, but Lakers brass immediately shot that news down.

And then just yesterday the Nuggets allegedly offered the Knicks a package featuring Carmelo and a mostly useless throw-in (Chauncey Billups) for—get this—Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, an undisclosed starter-caliber player, Eddy Curry's expiring contract and a first-round draft pick.

Certainly slow-footed at age 70, but clearly still sharp as a tack, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh said no.

The Nuggets aren't helping their cause by playing politics. Everyone knows they're in a tough spot with not just Carmelo but also Billups, Nene, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith all potentially walking away this summer.

Everyone knows Denver is currently in the hunt for a No. 4 playoff seed and needs comparable talent in return for Carmelo in order to not piss away the season. Any step back now and the franchise can expect season ticket sales to plummet to all-time low levels next year.

Everyone knows Carmelo is faced with the tough choice of either signing a three-year, $65-million deal now or entering a new collective bargaining era in which he might earn considerably less money.

All of the pressure is on the Nuggets and Carmelo.

Can we blame them for manufacturing rumors with hopes of creating a bidding war and getting back the best possible return for their dollar?

No, of course not.

But with the trade deadline just over a week away, it's time Denver, Carmelo, his agents and his wife LaLa Vasquez all swallow the reality pill.  They can engage in all the foolery they want, but they're not going to fool the market.