Blog Entry

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

Posted on: September 28, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 11:24 pm
The Carmelo Anthony saga moved to the next phase Tuesday, with the Nets trying to provide more cap relief to the Nuggets by finding a new home for Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith, has learned.

It was a futile effort to revive this excruciatingly slow-moving blockbuster, which died Tuesday in its current form involving the Bobcats and Jazz. Sources say discussions will continue, however, on other fronts amid mixed priorities within the Denver front office and some lingering doubts about whether Melo will ultimately give his thumbs-up on a trade to New Jersey.

“I think he’s thumbs-sideways on it,” said one source familiar with Anthony’s stance. “He’s not 100 percent sold on it.”

Martin, whose $16.5 million expiring contract would be a valuable asset at the trade deadline, and Smith, who has a $6.8 million expiring deal and controversy wherever he goes, could be the final pieces that eventually compel the Nuggets to sign off on a divorce with Anthony. But that divorce isn't happening with the structure of the exhaustively reported four-way deal involving Utah and Charlotte. That framework, a person involved in the discussions said, is "dead." The Melo talks as a whole, however, will trudge forward.

If more cap savings is what the Nuggets want, they'd only have to take back $17.5 million under NBA trade rules for Martin and Smith, a savings of $5.8 million – twice that when you factor in luxury tax. Numerous scenarios have been explored to allow the Nuggets to send out both Martin and Smith, sources say. But despite a growing belief that the Nuggets finally are ready to acknowledge that a truce with Anthony is unattainable, conflicting priorities among Denver decision-makers have put a chill in the discussions for now.

“Denver keeps moving the goal posts,” said one person connected to the talks. “They say, ‘We want this,’ and New Jersey says, ‘We got it.’ And then Denver says, ‘Wait a minute, we want this and this.’”

Around and around they went, several weeks after the basic framework of the deal was hatched by old friends Kevin O’Connor, Larry Brown and Billy King. Sources say those three did the legwork on the four-team possibility involving New Jersey, Denver, Charlotte and Utah and brought it to the Nuggets as a potentially attractive way for them to part ways with their disgruntled superstar. O’Connor, the Jazz GM, is a former assistant coach under Brown at UCLA. Brown, the Bobcats’ coach, has known King, the Nets’ news president, since his college days at Duke – and the two worked together in Philadelphia.

Ironically, one person familiar with the negotiations said the deal probably would’ve been done by now if Charlotte hadn’t waived center Erick Dampier and his non-guaranteed $13 million contract – which would’ve been a home-run for Denver in an exchange for Martin. Including Dampier in the deal would’ve provided what a source described as “ridiculous savings” for the Nuggets – about $33 million when factoring in the tax, making the deal “a no-brainer.”

UPDATE: In the absence of that asset, the Nuggets – led by newly hired GM Masai Ujiri, 30-year-old executive Josh Kroenke and adviser Bret Bearup – insisted on trying to squeeze more out of the deal while also exploring offers from other teams. In addition to Martin and Smith, Denver officials eventually were trying to dump Renaldo Balkman in the trade. Ultimately, one executive involved in the talks said, Denver's never-ending efforts to make the deal better for them was what wound up killing it.

The other part of their protracted strategy – sitting down face-to-face with Anthony before media day Monday – may have backfired on them, too.

Ujiri, trying to take the high road in the Anthony matter, insisted on meeting with him in person before signing off on the deal – as any new GM would. Unfortunately for Ujiri, Anthony’s discontent with the direction of the organization pre-dates the new GM’s arrival – and also runs deeper than Ujiri was aware. One reason Ujiri declined to give any details of his face-to-face encounter with Anthony Monday, according to two people familiar with the exchange, was simply that there were no details. Anthony, not wanting to rehash old wounds with his new boss, politely declined to engage Ujiri in any substantive conversation about his future.

“He said, ‘I’m cool,’ and, ‘You’re going to have to talk to my reps about that,’” said one of the people familiar with the meeting. In addition, multiple reports indicated that Anthony did not participate in the promotional activities players typically perform on media day, and the Denver Post noted that his image was removed from a prominent ad on the Nuggets’ website – replaced by Ty Lawson.

As a result, one source maintained Tuesday that the Nuggets were “going to move him, like now, ASAP.” But after all the delays and frustration on all sides, that may be an optimistic take.

"The Nuggets are going to look at every single trade and they’re going to have to work with [Anthony]," another person familiar with the talks said. "And that’s really going to slow the whole process down.”

Further complicating matters, sources say Karl is not going to be as influential in trying to keep Anthony in Denver as first believed. With the departure of Karl’s biggest supporter, former GM Mark Warkentien, and his top assistant, Tim Grgurich, Karl is unsure where he stands in the organization as he returns from his heroic cancer fight with one year left on his contract. The result has been tension – or at least uneasiness – among Karl, his staff and the newly formed front office. Plus, while Karl knows that he has a 50-win playoff team with Anthony and a rebuilding team without him, sources say the 59-year-old coach is growing tired of the MeloDrama and isn’t relishing the strain that it could place on him and the team.


Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:55 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

@debzlakers Why not? If he was considering the Nets who would only have Brook Lopez and no one else besides him..why not Sacramento?!  Carl Landry, Casspi, Evans, DeMarcus Cousins...wouldnt you consider them over a team that only has Brook Lopez?! Anyway with or without a star Sacramento will be a top 10 team in the Western Conference soon..mark my words!..all they need is someone at the 3(SF) and they are good to go!

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2010 6:52 pm

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

Child please.  Getting the future rights to Marc Gasol does not make that one of the most gastly trades in NBA history.  Pau Gasol is going to be a Hall of Famer!  Hello!!!  You don't trade a Hall of Famer in his prime away just like that just because you want to have the lowest payroll in the league!  They signed a huge deal with Rudy Gay this last July, just three years after they gave the keys to their car to the Lakers for a bag of chips.  The better Gasol brother is Pau and it's not even close.  Size in the NBA is rare though, so bringing anything akin to a true center to Denver would be an improvement.  We will trade the Lakers J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, and their expiring contracts, and, we will pretend for a moment the Nuggets have rights to a Spanish center with similar skills to Marc named Jim Gasol, the future rights to Jim Gasol for Pau Gasol right now.  Does that sound like a good trade?  The Lakers get J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, who are better players than Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and an old Aaron McKie were at the time of the Lakers trade in 2008, and the Nuggets get Pau Gasol.  Does that seem like a fair trade to you?  Of course it's a horrible trade!  In fact it would be highway robbery!  A future Hall of Famer in his prime for vastly inferior value.  Then the Lakers could offer a max deal to Shannon Brown in three years like Memphis did to Rudy Gay instead of spending that money upfront to protect the West's best center.  Don't act put upon.  "OH POOR ME EVERYONE HATES THE LAKERS!"  It's not even about you.  It's not even about the Lakers.  It's about the Memphis Grizzlies!!!!  That type of insane mismanagement.  Downright self-destructive behavior for a team should not be tolerated by the commissioner of the league.  The Lakers were the happy recipients of Memphis' insanity, but Memphis never should have been allowed to bankrupt the talent on their franchise like that so that they would have the lowest payroll in the league.  So don't waste your time telling me that wasn't a horrible trade.  It was one of the worst trades in the history of the NBA.  Ask anyone who isn't an incredibly biased Lakers fan.

Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 11:08 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

CutroBallin, aint no way in Hell that Melo is signing off on a trade to Sacramento. Are u kiddin me?

Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 11:04 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

artaylor, way to state the facts. People forget that Marc Gasol was part of that trade deal with Memphis. Although the Lakers still got the better end of the deal, it's not the "highway robbery" that everyone makes it out to be. Laker haters everywhere!

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 9:55 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

I totally disagree with this comment..Suns should not deal for Melo if it means losing Steve Nash. Without Steve Nash..who besides Jason Richardson is going to make that team champions?!...NOBODY! They wont come nowhere close to where Denver came with Melo.

Ok Im doin a 3 team trade with the following teams(using ESPN Trade Machine): DET, SAC & DEN..assuming if everybody had certain pieces etc: i know it may sound a bit ridiculous..but not as ridiculous as featuring more than 4 teams anyway this is how i got it:

Denver gets:
Tayshaun Prince
Francisco Garcia
Rip Hamilton

Sacramento gets:
Carmelo Anthony

Detroit gets:
JR Smith
Kenyon Martin

My reasons for the trades: Ok, before I go with my reasoning I will admit Im just learning about what PER means and about how trades actually bare with me if im incorrect. First Denver..ok so with Prince's 11 mil expiring soon they will have alot of space with that. And can resign or send him packing. They could keep Garcia to add depth to the bench. Rip Hamilton slightly brings back some much needed scoring..and of course he is better player than Smith..Prince isnt a better scorer than Melo but is better defensively.  They would definitely drop a couple spots but with this trade will still be a playoff team(espn trade machine has it as -4 wins..which isnt bad dropping off their best player)

Well Sacramento finally becomes relevant again and doesnt need much more to rebuild..because they will now be built around Melo, and Evans. Evans doesnt have to worry about struggling because he now has much needed help..Melo forming an underrated big three with Carl Landry and Tyreke Evans would definitely get people talking about Sacramento again and could possibly be better than Peja Bibby and Webber. Oh yea and forgetting the bench..they have Udrih, Casspi and Thompson to take care of that load..oh yea..and did I forget to mention DeMarcus Cousins..OUCH...this team is more dangerous than I thought. Projected wins increased by 11...which would be 36 wins..but as much talent as this team will say they are a 45 win team or higher.

Now to Detroit..well Detroit would still be in development process..Smith and Martin comes off the books they can definitely work with that 23 + mil. They could get rid of K Mart since they have a logjam at PF..with Villanueva and Maxiell he just wouldnt be getting rid of his 16 mil and getting another player or gettin cap space would be great. Gordon and Smith could compete for starting SG spot.  Smith is younger than Rip and also 2 yrs younger than Detroit will most likely keep him. Plus Smith bring some much needed Athleticism, energy and he can dunk.  So thats an upside for Detroit goin along with K Mart's contract.

Any comments on my trade would be I said I dont know much about actual trades i only follow stats. So if i do have some incorrect let me know.

Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 8:47 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

@KLM11 I am with you in that getting something is better than getting absolutely nothing in return, and that is what the Denver Nuggets run the risk of getting if they continue negotiating this deal the way they have been. The something being offered is prettty good in my opinion. We are at the end of September now which leaves a little over four and a half months before the trading deadline and as the months continue to fall off of the calendar general managers will know that the Nuggets are even that much more desperate to unload Carmelo Anthony which means they would be trying to deal him at a deficit. Also something else to consider is that if the Utah Jazz are a four seed or higher in the Western Conference playoff chase and the Charlotte Bobcats and New Jersey Nets are seeded anywhere from seven to ten in the Eastern Conference (this is a very real possibility given how bad the bottom three-fifths of the Eastern Conference is) by late December to the early to middle part of January then they can all pretty much say 'later to you we will go with the players that we already have' to the Nuggets which would then leave them scrambling for other trade partners. I understand trying to get maximum compensation for a superstar player but it looks like greed is starting to set in on the part of the Nuggets.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2010 8:26 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

Its pretty obvious to me that Melo is trying to force the Nuggets hand. He wants to leave Denver to play for a Championship caliber team, if he goes to the Nets its him & B Lopez... c'mon man he has a better team now than that...If he goes to NY its him and Amare at least with the potential of adding CP3 next offseason...Very Attractive...not too mention its his hometown and where his new wife is from as well...hmmm  He could also go to Chicago if they're willing to part with Noah, but they don't want to do that. So after watching this offseason where free agents colluded to go where they want to form Super teams, guys like Melo & CP3 aren't stupid and know that they can do the same and probably will to get what they want...

for sale jersey
Since: Sep 29, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 5:55 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 2:25 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

First off, getting draft picks and players is better than getting nothing at all, especially if one of those players is Devin Harris.  Carmelo Anthony is leaving after this season no matter what, so you might as well move him now while he is healthy and under contract. Second, people are making a big deal over Carmelo Anthony why, he hasn't ever won anything in the NBA, and unless he goes to the Lakers, Celtics, Magic, or Heat he won't be winning any championships soon.  Anyone thinking of building a team around Anthony is just stupid.  He has had great players around him at Denver and gotten nowhere with them, because he is just not that kind of player.  He doesn't make players around him better, because he doesn't know how.  He doesn't scare teams on defense, because he doesn't play defense.  He is a shooter, and that's all he is!  He's no Wade, Lebron, Dwight Howard, or even a Garnett, and he defenitely isn't a Kobe.  

Denver has a very good team right now, with guys like Billups, Martin, and Anderson who all play good defense, but as a team they give up way to many points and a big reason for that is Carmelo Anthony.  I understand that New Jersey needs a star player with a big name like and that having a star player is important for them when they move to Brooklyn in two years, but they are making a big mistake by going after Anthony for that star player.  The Knicks getting Amare Stoudemire this year will be a good example of what I'm talking about.  Even though he is a good all around player, he doesn't really make the players around him better.  Everyone will see that this season whey he doesn't have Steve Nash to feed him the ball or break down the double team that he will see every night.   

In my opinion New Jersey would be better off going after someone like Chris Paul, instead of Anthony, especially if they are going to have to give up Devin Harris in order to get him.  What I don't get is if I can see these things, and I'm not even a big NBA fan, then why can't the New Jersey Nets see these things?  Common sense is something that is not used very much in this country anymore, especially when it come to sports.  

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2010 1:00 am

Four-way deal dead, but talks will continue

I don't think Marc Gasol has shown signs of being a future hall of famer.  I don't even know if Marc is going to be an All-Star, but if anyone might have a chance of slowing Pau down in the West it might be little brother Marc.  If Pau Gasol doesn't go to the Lakers, then LA doesn't go to three straight Finals the past three years and Phil Jackson probably isn't coaching that team right now and who knows where that would put Kobe Bryant.  The Memphis firesale was absurd.  They dumped all of their salary during a time they were looking to sell the team to keep costs down in the meantime.  It was a "highway robbery" as you say that hurt every team in the league except for the Lakers and flew in the face fielding a competitive team which should be the precept of any sports franchise.  It's the commissioners job to protect the integrity of the game and David Stern didn't do anything as the Lakers were favored.  It may not have been illegal, but anyone that isn't a Lakers fan can see that it wasn't right.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or