The name Carmelo Anthony hasn't ever been used as frequently as it is right now. Every time someone brings up the approaching NBA season, the name seems to creep its way in, whether it be through the discussion of potential contenders, trade rumors, or the top players in the league. Honestly, I don't see any other reason why Melo wants out of Denver, besides the idea that Melo wants what LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh have.
We are only a couple weeks away from the opening tipoff and Melo seems to be looking much further ahead than the first Nuggets game. In Melo's' mind, forming his own "Big Three" seems to be the No. 1 priority on his agenda heading into this season. I'd expect to see him demand a trade any minute now and my first guess is that he wants to go to the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets (two teams I don't see doing that much better than Denver).
Where does this leave teams such as the Heat, Lakers, Magic, Celtics, and Bulls? Should they be worried, or will they be looking forward to the potential challenge that is awaiting their arrival? Well, me being a Lakers fan, I am going to be presenting the top five reasons why the Lakers shouldn't worry about the future destination of Melo, whether that be New York, New Jersey, or Denver.
Reason 1: They Can't Top Miami's Talent
If there is one wall between the Lakers and their success this season, it is the Miami Heat. Every time you turn on NBA TV or ESPN, LeBron, Wade, and Bosh's names come up. For Lakers fans there is nothing sweeter than writing down another reason to prove the NBA world wrong. The Lakers are the easiest team to hate and it's not a surprise, but should the Lakers worry if someone like Carmelo chooses to join forces with, let's say, the New York Knicks?
No, because no team will be able to top the Heat's talent. Like I said, the Heat are now the No. 1 contender to be the NBA's top team, and it would be nearly impossible to assemble a more talented team with the current players and situations.
If Melo decides to leave Denver and signs with another team, that team will be second at best to the Miami Heat, and who knows if that team could do better than the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, or Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers should not worry too much if Carmelo leaves Denver, but they should worry about the Miami Heat.
Reason 2: There Is No Guarantee That Carmelo Will Be Happy
Wherever Melo ends up, there is always the possibility that he won't be happy. The No. 1 priority for an owner is to win games and make sure your best player is happy. For the Denver Nuggets, they have failed the second priority, which was to keep Melo happy, and they are now feeling the effects of an unhappy superstar.
Melo wants out and it will most likely happen sometime in the near future. The question is whether another team picks up the Nuggets' slack, which is debatable, but it will ultimately come down to Melo's feelings and determination as a team's leader.
Potentially, any team could fail to meet Melo's interest, which is to win a championship and for that very reason, the Lakers should not worry about Melo's whereabouts unless that team actually meets Melo's goals. The ironic situation is that if Melo does meet his goal, he would most likely have to meet the Lakers in the Finals, which would turn out to be an interesting series. I can see the headlines now, "The Lakers may have cared less about Melo's whereabouts, but now there is no ignoring it."
Reason 3: We Have Ron Ron and Matt Barnes
Defense wins championships. I'm guessing most of you have heard this saying and it is very true. Yes, great offenses make a good team, but great defense makes good teams, great.
The Lakers should feel blessed to have two of the best one-on-one defenders in the NBA with Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Many coaches around the league are just wondering how to guard either Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Durant, or Howard with the ball in their hands as they say to themselves, "Do we have someone to guard them?"
Every team will come to the same type of situations throughout the season where their teams will face a superstar, and to be successful, they will need to find that "one guy" that can slow the Kobe's and LeBron's of the NBA.
So, coming back to Melo. Because Melo is a superstar, the Lakers should naturally put Melo as the No. 1 priority when playing his team, but wherever Melo goes, that won't change unless he goes to the Heat, which won't happen. Because the Lakers have Ron Artest and now Matt Barnes, Melo's location should not matter.
Reason 4: Carmelo Hasn't Hurt Us So Far...
In my mind, I don't see many teams doing better with Melo than the Denver Nuggets. I can already hear the Knicks' fans saying, "We would win a championship!" Well, I don't think so. Melo has been very successful with the Nuggets, and although they haven't won a championship, I'd still consider Melo's stay in Denver to be successful.
However, the Nuggets haven't knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs with Melo, or even made the Finals, so Los Angeles should not be worried.
Reason 5: Melo Won't Have Chauncey Billups
One of the most underrated players in the NBA is Chauncey Billups. He has provided leadership, physicality, and a high level of play for many different teams, including the Denver Nuggets.
Many people who watch the NBA most likely overlook Billups' importance to the Nuggets' success. It may seem crazy to say, but without Billups, Melo wouldn't have done nearly as much by himself with the Nuggets. Billups has mentored Melo into a great player, and I don't know how Melo would do without Billups.
The great thing for the Lakers is that wherever Melo goes, they will most likely have to only deal with one superstar in Melo, considering the teams he wants to go to. Yes, if Melo decides to go to the Knicks, Amar'e Stoudemire is there, but it would be a little different dealing with Amar'e than Billups.
If I were Jerry Buss or Kobe, I would be relieved to see the Melo-Billups duo fade away.