Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Are 4 First Rounders Too Much To Give Up for Nets?

Dan Tylicki@DanTylickiAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Are 4 First Rounders Too Much To Give Up for Nets?

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony is the subject of a major trade rumor today? It's a shocker, I know. Reports are that a trade agreement has tentatively been reached by the New Jersey Nets and the Denver Nuggets.

    The trade would send Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman to the Nets in exchange for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round picks.

    Four first-round picks? Really? It sounded impossible at first, since teams can't trade consecutive draft picks under the Stepien rule, but the Nets actually have enough first-round picks in 2011 and 2012 to pull this off. Should they actually be trading these first-round draft picks though?

Yes 5: Carmelo Anthony Can Bring in Talent

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 27:  Vince Carter #15 of the New Jersey Nets drives against the Los Angeles Lakers during the game on March 27, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    A trade for Carmelo Anthony would give New Jersey the biggest star they've had since Vince Carter. In the right city, having a superstar can make players want to come to that team. Over the next few seasons, having a core of Carmelo and Brook Lopez, among others, could help bring in players.

    It's tough to say how much success Anthony could have on this end, but I imagine he would do a better job bringing in stars than others.

No 5: Draft Picks Can Bring in Talent

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  Derrick Favors of Georgia State stands with NBA Commisioner David Stern after being drafted third overall by the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    With the third pick in the draft, New Jersey selected Derrick Favors. While he hasn't been amazing for the team, he's posting decent numbers for a 19-year-old rookie and has shown good energy for the Nets.

    By trading away these picks, the Nets won't be able to add much youth to their roster and have it grow under Anthony. This year's draft isn't immensely strong, but the Nets could get someone like Terrence Jones and some depth with the Lakers' pick. The Rockets and Warriors' picks next year I would think would be fairly high as well.

Yes 4: Carmelo's 3-Year Extension

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets dunks the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-120. NOTE TO USER: User
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony, if he is traded to the Nets, would sign a three-year extension. Simply put, if the extension was not guaranteed, trading the picks would be stupid, as they would need them to fill the roster back up.

    If they are able to lock Anthony up for three years, then they won't need those draft picks. After all, you know what you're getting with Carmelo; you have no idea what you might get with a draft pick.

No 4: Team Would Not Be Great Yet

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-120. NOTE TO USER: U
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    When the Nets gain the players that are planned, that does not automatically make them an elite team. At 34, Chauncey Billups does not have that much left in the tank. Also, Shelden Williams hasn't stayed on one team long enough to get proper footing (five teams in five seasons, six if you count the Nets).

    Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman will be non-factors in New Jersey, so while New Jersey is 17-40 right now, I don't see them going .500 in their remaining games if the cast stays as is. Having those draft picks could help build the team up into what the Nets want it to be now that they would have Carmelo.

Yes 3: Can't Wait for Picks To Develop

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 11:  Jordan Farmar #2 of the New Jersey Nets is fouled against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Because Carmelo Anthony will only have a three-year contract extension, that gives any picks the Nets draft three years, at most, to mature. While some picks are ready to play in the NBA immediately, most need that first year or two to develop and get better.

    With Anthony in New Jersey for three seasons, the New Jersey Nets don't have time to wait for them to mature. They have to win now, and if that means they won't have young guys developing, then they'll take that if it means a championship.

No 3: Could Use Picks To Bring in Other Talent

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  Wesley Johnson stands with NBA Commisioner David Stern after being drafted by The Minnesota Timberwolves at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Having four first-round picks over the next two seasons laying around is a pretty nice luxury to have. Even if you don't use them to draft young talent (which they shouldn't as I've mentioned), then they could still use them to bring in players.

    Trading a draft pick or two for a couple solid starters that could complement Carmelo Anthony would be a great move and could bring Anthony that much closer to a championship. There's another reason that draft picks could be valuable trade bait, which will be noted later.

Yes 2: It's Not the Nets' Picks

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Courtney Lee #5 of the Houston Rockets drives past Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 114-106. NOTE
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The picks the Nets are trading aren't theirs? What does that mean? Of the four picks that the Nets are trading to the Nuggets, only one of them is actually theirs, and that's the first one for 2011.

    The other three picks going to the Nuggets are picks from the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors that the Nets have received for various trades over the years. This means that, in reality, the Nets are not so much losing draft picks as shipping off their surplus picks, and that could be great for them, since they'll still have picks to use to help out Carmelo Anthony.

No 2: It's a Hefty Price Tag

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 22:  Devin Harris #34 of the New Jersey Nets drives the ball around Jarrett Jack #2  of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on December 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.    The Hornets defeated the Nets 105-91.
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Plain and simple, trading four players and four draft picks is a huge amount to give no matter who you're getting in return. Yes, the Nuggets are getting Carmelo Anthony and others, but they're giving up Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and others.

    I can see adding a draft pick, maybe two, to cancel everything out, but in the end, it's five players for four players and four picks, which is about as big a commitment as it sounds. If it doesn't work out perfectly, then you can't rely on the draft now to help out.

Yes 1: They'll Get Carmelo Anthony

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This sounds redundant, but the fact of the matter is if those draft picks are the difference between the Nets getting Carmelo or not, then they might as well hand them over. They've been trying their hardest to bring Anthony, and if they are that close to bringing him to New Jersey, a couple draft picks are not going to stop them.

No 1: Picks More Valuable with New CBA

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Commissioner David Stern speaks to the crowd prior to presenting the 2009-2010 Championship Rings to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Perhaps the most significant reason that trading these picks could backfire goes off on the other reasons they shouldn't and complements them. Should a new collective bargaining agreement be signed, then Carmelo would get a smaller payday in free agency, as would others.

    Because players would be getting less, draft picks would become a lot more valuable, and teams could get more for them. Suddenly, the four picks that the Nets gave to the Nuggets are worth a lot more in the upcoming offseason than they are now, and that part of the trade could look bad in hindsight.

Conclusion

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Should the Nets be giving these picks to the Nuggets when it's all said and done? That's a very tough question, actually, after all the above points are looked at. In the end though, I think it's necessary for the Nets to do.

    It helps both sides, since the Nuggets can now restock their roster with those four extra draft picks, and the Nets can concentrate on the free-agent process instead of grooming draft picks. This is conditional on Carmelo actually being able to bring more talent to New Jersey though, because they won't win anything with the roster they'll have should this trade be finalized.