Blog Entry

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

Posted on: September 15, 2010 8:26 pm
One month after Carmelo Anthony’s high-powered team of advisers first began pressuring the Denver Nuggets to trade him, the superstar scorer has not wavered in his desire to be dealt, multiple sources told

“There’s no sign of reconsideration on Carmelo’s part, despite what [Denver] has publicly said,” said one of the people involved in the process.

The two sides remain locked in a stalemate over Anthony’s future while a three-year, $65 million extension offer sits untouched in front of him. While Nuggets officials – including influential adviser Bret Bearup and executive Josh Kroenke – continue to rebuff trade inquiries while hoping to repair the franchise’s relationship with Anthony, privately the team is beginning to examine which teams would have the most attractive combination of young players, draft picks and expiring contracts to complete a deal. And the team currently viewed by people close to the situation as having the most realistic chance of putting together a blockbuster, perhaps multi-team deal for Anthony is the New Jersey Nets.

“They’re working the hardest to get a deal done,” one of the sources said.

With No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, multiple extra draft picks, and Devin Harris, whose $8.98 million contract could be parlayed into a serviceable replacement for Anthony in a three-team trade, New Jersey has the makings of a package that would appeal to Nuggets officials, one of the people with knowledge of Denver’s strategy said. The key, according to the person, would be involving a third team to convert Harris into something the Nuggets would view as “decent replacement value” for Anthony.

That is where another team equipped with attractive assets could enter the picture, multiple sources said: the Philadelphia 76ers. New team president Rod Thorn and GM Ed Stefanski – who formerly worked together in New Jersey – could be central to constructing a deal that would compel the Nuggets to move Anthony rather than endure a season-long distraction that ends with Anthony leaving as a free agent after the season. The key pieces of the Philadelphia equation would be the expiring contracts of Jason Kapono ($6.64 million) and Willie Green ($3.98 million), a young talent such as Thaddeus Young, and Andre Iguodala, who is coming off a solid contribution to Team USA’s gold-medal performance at the FIBA World Championships. Some executives believe the Sixers would at least discuss including No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner if it meant getting Anthony, but that would defeat the purpose of going over the luxury tax to get Anthony in the first place.

Thorn drafted Favors, so that is one piece that is expected to be integral to the discussion once the Nuggets officially begin seeking trade packages for Anthony. The dropoff in talent from Anthony to Iguodala is considerable, but so is the savings; Iguodala is due $44 million over the next three seasons, compared to the $65 million Anthony would command. Two people familiar with Denver’s strategy confirmed the Nuggets would be intrigued by a deal centered around Iguodala. The Nets could sweeten any such offer with Golden State’s 2012 first-round pick and two extra second-round picks they own in the same draft.

A package sending Anthony to the Nets, Favors to Philadelphia and Iguodala to Denver is one way all of these moving parts could come together. But Thorn is said to have reservations about such a deal, which has yet to rise to the level of discussion among the teams.

The situation is complicated by the difficulty in putting enough assets in the deal to satisfy the Nuggets, who don’t want the first move of GM Masai Ujiri’s regime to be trading the team’s cornerstone. Even more crucial is the need for Anthony to indicate he’d be willing to sign an extension with the team that acquires him. It is believed that Anthony, a Brooklyn native whose wife, LaLa Vasquez, also is from there, would sign off on a deal to the Nets, who move to the New York City borough in two years. It is not clear how Anthony would feel about signing an extension with Philadelphia, a city that is halfway between his New York birthplace and the Washington, D.C., area where he grew up. The Sixers were not on Anthony’s initial list of preferred destinations, which included the Knicks, Magic, Bulls and Nets. Anthony, who is good friends with former Sixers star Allen Iverson, also is aware of how harshly Philadelphia treats its sports stars, a person with knowledge of his thinking said.

The Bulls are viewed by one source as “not a realistic candidate” due to the team’s unwillingness at this point to include Joakim Noah in the deal. The Bulls and Noah are currently negotiating an extension. The Knicks, Anthony’s first choice, are viewed by rival executives as not having enough assets to entice the Nuggets. New York has Eddy Curry’s $11.3 million expiring contract, promising big man Anthony Randolph, and swingman Wilson Chandler, but the team’s draft-pick cupboard is bare. Adding to the frustration among Nuggets officials, sources say, is that Anthony’s team has been slow to offer a comprehensive list of trade possibilities.

As the Nuggets walk the tightrope between getting value for Anthony and trying to compel him to reconsider and sign the extension, other factors are in play. Ujiri, a former Nuggets scout who was with the organization when Anthony was drafted, just lived through the nightmare of losing star Chris Bosh in Toronto. Ujiri was part of the management team that decided not to trade Bosh at the February 2010 trade deadline, and Bosh bolted to join Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami. The Raptors got a trade exception and two first-round picks – small consolation for the loss of the team’s franchise player.

Which is exactly what the Nuggets are trying to avoid, one way or another.

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2010 8:25 am

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

Melo will sooon become the new Vince Carter

Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2010 3:32 am

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

Melo is not a team leader. He is a baby and, when the big game comes, a choker. Sure, he might give you 20+ points, but look at his stats and how many shots per game he has to take. He will make highlight reels. Cause when he is on, he is on with the best. But that happens infrequently. He is not deserving of 65 mil except through an undeserved reputation. Any team that gives up future stars for him will be disappointed. He is a "me" player. Not a team player. If you want your team to make it for the next few years, pass on Melo. 

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2010 2:06 am

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

Let me get this straight, you don't want Carmelo Anthony if it means giving up Joakim Noah??!!?  I also like and respect Noah's game but come'on!

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:25 am

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

How about this three team trade: Baron Davis ($13 mil) and Eric Gordon ($3 mil) to Portland; Portland sends Andre Miller ($7 mil), Greg Oden ($7 mil) and either Rudy Fernandez ($1 mil) or Jerryd Bayless ($2 mil) to the Clippers; and Denver sends Carmelo Anthony ($17 mil) to the Clippers for Blake Griffin ($5 mil) and Chris Kaman ($11 mil). The deal is completed when Denver and Portland swap centers: Nene, Marcus Camby and their equal $11 million salaries change teams. Everyone ends up happy because the Clippers then have a roster of Carmelo Anthony, Andre Miller, and Greg Oden. Denver has a roster of Chauncey Billups, Al Harrington, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, JR Smith and Camby. Portland pairs Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Nene together.

The deal seems thinner for the Clippers but they get the star power they need to compete in LA. Fernandez is the key to the deal for the Clippers. The young PG doesn't want to play in Portland but might like Los Angeles. He's going to be a strong player for years to come. The Clippers could also force the Nuggets to throw in Ty Lawson for Eric Bledsoe as their salaries match. The Nuggets and Portland could also nix the Nene Camby swap if Portland likes Camby more than Nene.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 12:38 am

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

LOL.  If I could get 'Melo and all I had to give up was a "defensive specialist" like Noah, I do it in a heartbeat.  Folks here are questioning whether 'Melo could lead a team to a title -- what's Noah going to do, scream his team to a title?  You don't win an NBA championship by playing it safe.  Sure, I'll grant you that you'll always get your hustle and rebounds from Noah, but seriously?  He's not a franchise player, the Bulls never win a title with him.  Never.  Keep in mind that folks seriously questioned whether Kobe had the maturity to LEAD a team to a title after Shaq left (we all know who really got those three), but he managed to pull it together eventually.  I'd make the move for 'Melo for the same reason -- it might fail spectacularly, but if he gets his head on straight, then you've got a chance.  That's pretty much all you can hope for as a franchise, generating a 2-3 year window once every ten years to make legitimate runs at the title.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: September 15, 2010 11:14 pm

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

If I'm Denver, I blow up the roster, unload anyone of value and start over!!!!

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: September 15, 2010 10:56 pm

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

I would be very surprised if the 76ers were able to get rid of   and his salary.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: September 15, 2010 10:54 pm

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

Carmelo is a scorer, but he cant lead a team like Kobe can....Sure he can get 50+ wins to a team, but i dont see him delivering a title...I mean he has good players around him in Denver now and he cant make the finals...If he moves to the east he has the heat to deal with, which by the time that trio breaks up melo will be in his 30's...his best bet is to pull a Lebron and join Stoudamire in new York, or Maybe orlando with Howard to win a title...

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: September 15, 2010 10:50 pm

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

As a Net fan I would love to have Melo here but the Nets are too far away from being good so why give all your assets away. I say keep Favors and Harris and all the 1st rd picks we have and try to do something that most teams these day don't.....and that's build through the draft. If we had another top all-star player here I would say do it but Lopez is good player but not on that level. We need to get better before we do those types of trades. Now if we had CP3 already here then..............I can dream, can't I!!!

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: September 15, 2010 10:13 pm

Nets, Sixers add intrigue to Melo saga

VERY glad to hear the Bulls are "not a realistic source". Melo would be nice, but NOT for Noah. smart by the Bulls for reasons we all adamantly stated when that rumor first came out.

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