Don’t look now, but 'Melo trade talk has now flared up again.
The New Jersey Nets have now added a new act to the on-going 'Melo Saga.
After pulling themselves out of trade talks last month, the Nets are now in talks with Denver that will bring Carmelo Anthony to The Garden State.
In the proposed trade, the Nets would send Denver, Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Murphy’s $12 million expiring contract, Ben Uzoh and four first-round picks. Denver would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Melvin Ely to New Jersey.
Nothing is set in stone and this is a deal that is far from done.
It is missing the most important component—Anthony’s signature on the three-year, $65 million contract extension.
If he declines it—the deal is dead.
And that could open the door for other teams to make a move on him.
Where could he go? And what are another team’s chances of landing Anthony?
Let’s examine that.
It was obvious at the time that the Nets were bluffing when they pulled themselves out of trade discussions with Denver. Mikhail Prokhorov felt that the Nuggets were trying to strong-arm the Nets into including more assets than they had to.
But make no mistake—New Jersey needs a superstar like Anthony. Prokhorov created much anticipation among the Nets’ fan base when he bought the team last year. And he wasn’t shy about making it known he wanted to compete for a championship right away.
However, free agency was a failure, as they failed to lure LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
Acquiring Anthony is just the kind of splash the Russian owner needs to make—to show that he is indeed serious about winning.
The Nets will be moving to Brooklyn in a few years and Prokhorov is itching to take Anthony with him.
New Jersey currently has offered the best package available. And it may not be Madison Square Garden, but Anthony will get to come back to the East Coast.
It’s probable that 'Melo will experience a change of heart and sign the extension with New Jersey—especially if the Knicks can’t get their act together.
Chances New Jersey lands Anthony: 85 percent
How colossal of a failure would it be if New York fails to land Anthony?
It might be up there with the many miscues of Isiah Thomas.
From the day that LeBron spurned them to play with the Heat—Anthony made it known that he desired to play with the Knicks and only the Knicks. They had eight months to get a deal done.
It was all set up for New York.
But, they have been hesitant because don’t want to deal the likes of Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields.
With New Jersey appearing to be out of the picture in the previous weeks—it appeared New York took a gamble that every other team might think twice about making a move for Anthony.
They conducted trade talks with no sense of urgency, as they believed if no deal is done by the deadline—they could sign Anthony as a free agent next year and for less money under the new CBA.
New York took that gamble and it appears they might get burned if Anthony signs the contract extension with New Jersey.
Chances New York lands Anthony: 70 percent
The Lakers have been disappointing this year by their standards.
As a result, Anthony’s name became linked to the Lakers once it appeared Denver became disappointed in New York’s proposed trade package.
Anthony to the Lakers is an intriguing scenario.
But, to make that happen, Los Angeles would almost certainly have to include Bynum and Odom in the trade package.
If that were to happen, the Lakers’ daunting size advantage would disappear.
Chances Los Angeles lands Anthony: 1 percent
With Caron Butler appearing to be out for the season, the Mavs lost a big dimension of their offense.
Dallas could become a factor in the Anthony trade talks if these two things were to happen.
First, Anthony would have to decline the extension with the Nets.
Second, the Knicks would have to fail to put together a package that impresses Denver.
Dallas is a very underrated city in terms of appeal to free agents.
And Mark Cuban is never scared to make a big deal.
Chances Dallas lands Anthony: 15 percent
Along with the Mavericks, Houston has been listed as another dark-horse that can potentially land Anthony.
Daryl Morey has recently said that all of his players are available—for the right price.
Now, Houston has the assets that could intrigue Denver—starting with Yao’s expiring contract and perhaps young building blocks such as Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry.
But, it all comes down to Anthony’s signature on the contract extension.
Chances Houston lands Anthony: 5 percent