Blog Entry

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Posted on: December 8, 2010 7:51 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 11:03 pm
After weeks of speculation and despite a strong start by the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony's last days in Denver may finally have arrived.

The Nuggets have all but decided to trade Anthony if he does not sign an extension with the team by the trade deadline, and Denver's management team believes Anthony is fully prepared to play out the season and become a free agent, multiple sources told

The Nuggets’ strong start, coupled with George Karl’s inspirational return from cancer treatment and positive discussions about a contract extension for the soon-to-be-1,000-win coach, have the organization feeling they've done everything possible to persuade Anthony to stay. But according to people with knowledge of the team’s strategy, if Anthony doesn’t agree to sign the three-year, $65 million extension by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, the wheels are all but certain to be put in motion to part ways with the three-time All-Star rather than lose him as a free agent and get nothing in return.

According to people in contact with the Nuggets’ management team, there is far more clarity today about what the team is seeking in a potential Anthony trade than there was in September, when new GM Masai Ujiri was thrust into the tempest in his initial days and weeks on the job. Executives believe the Nuggets have decided they would like to receive the best possible package of young players and are not interested in stopgap options that would hamper their flexibility. Acquiring a high-priced veteran player -- such as Andre Iguodala, whose talent the Nuggets value but not his contract -- would only hurt the team’s ability to build around youth while maintaining payroll flexibility into the uncertainty of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Nets’ package of 2010 No. 3 pick Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris, the expiring contract of Kris Humphries and two first-round picks remains the most attractive option to the Nuggets, sources say. Additional trade partners such as Charlotte and Utah are not eager to get involved in the discussions again, but wouldn’t necessarily be needed this time.

The wild card remains Anthony’s desire to sign an extension with the Nets, who obviously would not be willing to offer the same package without such a guarantee. While rival executives continue to doubt that Anthony would be willing to spend the next season-and-a-half in Newark, N.J., sources who have been in close contact with the power brokers in Anthony’s camp -- William Wesley and Leon Rose -- say the Nets remain an option for Anthony.

Anthony and the Nuggets will play Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks, which remain his top choice via a trade or free agency -- even though the latter option could cost him millions depending on how successful owners are at imposing salary reductions in the new collective bargaining agreement. Sources say Anthony is so fixated on winding up with the Knicks that Denver management has become convinced that he will tempt fate and the new CBA by playing out the entire season in Denver and signing with the Knicks as a free agent on July 1 – or after the lockout. The only way that scenario could be positive for Denver would be in a sign-and-trade deal. But such an arrangement – like the pennies-on-the-dollar deals that sent LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami – would not be nearly as beneficial as what the Nets are offering now.

The Knicks, playing their best basketball in years with free-agent acquisition Amar’e Stoudemire, have believed that their best chance of landing Melo was for the process to play out slowly – and they’ve gotten their wish so far. But the Nuggets, sources say, are not sold on the young players New York could offer such as Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. Point guard Raymond Felton -- who has been on an offensive tear since gaining chemistry with Stoudemire and who becomes trade-eligible on Dec. 15 -- also does not interest the Nuggets, who view him as a halfcourt player who wouldn't fit their style.

Nuggets officials are said to be coming around to the idea that Harris could play in the backcourt with Chauncey Billups, who often played shooting guard this past summer with Team USA. But if Anthony is traded, sources say management also wants to show Billups -- who came to the Nuggets not just to come home, but to win -- the proper respect by engaging him in conversations about whether he'd prefer to be traded.

Other than hoping to persuade Anthony to sign the extension and stay in Denver, the biggest variable for the Nuggets is the sliding scale of quality on the Nets’ own first-round pick they’d convey in the trade. (They also would include Golden State’s protected 2012 first-rounder). The sooner the Nuggets trade Melo to New Jersey, the better the Nets get and the worse the pick gets. But that is a matter of timing and patience. As far as willingness to deal, it appears that the Nuggets are finally open for business.

And so are we in the rest of this week’s Post-Ups:

• With the Trail Blazers' obvious struggles and the health challenges (that's putting it mildly) of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, two people with knowledge of the team's strategy told that Portland management is contemplating trading older players and going young. The obvious targets for such a purge would be Marcus Camby (36), Andre Miller (34), and Joel Przybilla (31). Roy isn’t old, but his knees are -- though one of the sources said Portland would find no takers for the five years and $82.3 million remaining on Roy's contract, given the state of his meniscus-less knees. Przybilla ($7.4 million expiring contract) and Miller (whose $7.8 million salary in 2011-12 is fully non-guaranteed) are eminently moveable. Another candidate to be dealt, though not because of age or health, is Rudy Fernandez, who has wanted out of Portland for some time. Sources caution that the Blazers have engaged in only internal conversations about this strategy, and it is contingent upon the team (10-11) continuing to struggle. But the writing certainly is on the wall for major changes in Portland.

• Multiple NBA team executives told this week they believe a significant number of college underclassmen will stay in school rather than risk losing a year of development (and pay) in a lockout. College coaches making the pitch to underclassman to stay in school will have more leverage than ever before. “They’ll have the hammer,” one exec said. “To lose a year of development at that stage of your career, that’s huge.” This could have a dramatic impact on a team like No. 4 Kansas, which in an ordinary year would have as many as three first-round picks: freshman Josh Selby (serving a nine-game NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits); and juniors Marcus Morris and Tyshawn Taylor. Sophomore Thomas Robinson also impressed NBA execs scouting the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

• Speaking of Madison Square Garden, rival execs agree that New York would be a logical landing spot for Andre Iguodala, and they believe the Sixers will be more than open to discussing trades for the dynamic but high-priced swingman as the Feb. 24 deadline approaches. The Knicks, one of the few teams in a position to absorb salary in the uncertain labor environment, also would be looking for an attractive piece to pair with Stoudemire in the event the Nuggets follow through with an Anthony trade prior to the deadline. Team president Donnie Walsh would have to decide if, short of Anthony, Iguodala is the best option that will be available to him between now and 2011 free agency -- if and when that happens. And also, if Iguodala is worth giving up the cap flexibility he's toiled three years to create. Pricetag notwithstanding -- the 26-year-old is due $56.5 million over the next four years -- Iguodala would be an excellent fit for Mike D'Antoni's high-octane offense and would instantly become the best defender on the roster by a mile.

• With details of the National Basketball Players Association's July proposal finally becoming fully public Wednesday, the question of how prepared the union is for a lockout is naturally going to come up. According to sources familiar with the union's financial documents, the NBPA currently has just shy of $100 million in liquid assets in its war chest in the event of a lockout. The funds have been accumulated largely through players agreeing to put aside licensing money they receive from the league -- something they are doing again this season to the tune of about $30 million. If you add non-liquid assets, such as property, the union will have about $175 million on hand. This is a lot of money to you and me, but not to 450 NBA players. Consider that the players' salaries (without benefits) last season totaled about $2.3 billion -- with a "b." Now consider that players are paid 12 times during the season -- twice a month for six months. That means the NBPA's total war chest is enough to cover the players' first paychecks during a lockout in the 2011-12 season.

• With trade discussions typically heating up around the 20-game mark -- and also around Dec. 15, when summer free agents become trade-eligible -- execs league-wide are curious to learn what sort of trade climate will exist in light of the labor uncertainty. Many predict that teams that have typically been willing to take on salary between December and the trade deadline (Feb. 24) will be less willing (or unwilling) to do so in this environment. Similarly, teams performing below management's internal expectations (Houston, the Clippers, the Blazers) have a tough decision to make. They could try to fix their problems now, but without knowing what the rules will be under the new agreement, they don't know what conditions they’re planning for. Of the aforementioned teams, the Blazers are in the best position to dump salary because of the attractiveness of the contracts they'd be moving. Plus, Miller's value is not only in his contract, but in his ability to push a contending team in need of a steadying point-guard presence over the top. Full disclosure: this is my idea, not anybody else's, but Orlando would be the perfect landing spot for Miller depending on what the Magic would be willing to send back.


Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:39 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

I find it amusing that the Nuggets don't think they can trade with the Knicks because they don't have enough pieces, or aren't interested in them. Though I think Melo is a great talent, frankly, I wouldn't want to trade anyone but Gallo (curry and randolph are a given). Finally, for the first time in the last decade, the Knicks are playing winning basketball. I know some people are going to question their competition recently which has been mediocre at best, but this team plays with a mental toughness than anything I've seen in the last ten years since the Ewing days. I pray for Donnie Walsh to not make a critical mistake and include Fields or Chandler in a deal. Fields is in contention for ROY, though Griffin I would say is the lock. The 6-7 shooting guard pulls down 10 boards a game and and I don't know of anyone better than Chandler off the bench. The old Knicks would fold in the 4th qtr. Amar'e has brought renewed energy and emotion to this squad...they don't give up, they have heart, and they are winning. Donnie, DO NOT TRADE FOR MELO. Melo is going to come as a free agent and we will get him for nothing and be back in the eastern conference championships.

Since: Oct 20, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:25 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

If the Nuggets think the Knicks have no good players then they obviously haven't been doing their homework. Felton is far from a half court player, he's a two way player that can lead a fast break with the best of them. In his current form he's a top 10 PG in the league. If the Nuggets don't want Danilo or Chandler they must have noticed Landry Fields who's the rookie of the year so far.
Eddy Curry's contract + Felton or Douglas + Danilo or Fields or Chandler should get this deal done

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:56 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Wow, really? Why not give up Avery Johnson's children and Billy King's grandchildren as well? The Nuggets don't realize that everyday that goes by the "leverage" they think they have is decreasing rapidly. As a life long Nets fan if they were to do this trade I think they would be going backwards. It's way too much for a player that has proved nothing, but thanking his own ego. If it was LeBron or Kobe or Wade it would still be way to steep of a price, but it would benefit us a lot more that Melo. I hope management isn't in that much of a rush to get a "big name" player for the move to Brooklyn. I'm tired of seeing these rumors everyday. We would be a better team if we played Hump more minutes and T-Will learned that he is a future star and thus needs to act like one. Trade Murphy, all he does is shoot (and miss)'s like he developed the Rasheed Wallace syndrome of a big man who made a name for himself as a banger then fell in love with the outside shot and never wants to do anything else, actually it might originally be called Derrick Coleman syndrome. Sorry for the rant, but the price is too steep to get Melo. Please Nets management don't make this trade.

Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 3:34 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Typing in Giant letters usually is a prime example of mental issues.  It also happens to be a great way for everyone not to like you.  I don't even know you and I don't like you.

You can't rip everyone top to bottom chastise the whole world and then say you admire Carmelo Anthony.  It makes you sound like an idiot who needs to type in giant letters in order for anyone to listen to you.

The NBA has no power to change the NCAA and why would the NCAA take their advice?  The NCAA is better run, better officiated, and probably makes more money.

Finally, LeBron did not follow his heart to Miami.  Definitely the dumbest thing I heard typed in Giant letters in the last week.  LeBron followed his ego, warm weather, high class ho's, and the thought it was a great way to be held less responsible for whatever failure he might be a part of on the court.  Ultimately by the very many accounts of what a prima donna he acts like with his ridiculous entoraqe following him around everywhere, he has NO HEART only a inflated sense of self worth... just like the sense of self worth of a guy who types in giant letters because he thinks his opinion is the only one that can possibly be right. 

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:55 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Carmelo Anthony headed to Free Agency

You know its not just him we put all the athletes on this pedistal and pay them this insance amount of money to do something that most would do for free or way less if given the chance. I think college players as well as currrent NBA players coaches and GM Owners all need to revise things and out with the old and in with the new. At the end of the day its all about money. But for a few its about playing for the team you grew up liking . Yeah the Knicks have sucked for quite some time but if that's where Melo wants to be then so be it. Hopefully for him it will turn out better than the Lebron fiasco. The way he did it was bad but I admire him for following his heart!

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:22 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Berger has been reporting on the "imminent Melo trade" for an eternity now. When/if Melo gets traded, Berger will pat himself on the back for all the insight he had. Berger - go away and come back when something actually is happening, not say it is going to every day for a year.

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:14 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

I believe the time has arrived for the Nuggets to trade Carmelo Anthony's and here is why

please let me know what you guys think

Since: Dec 7, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:12 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

I am a die hard nugs fan too, but both of those guys are injury prone and over the hill.  Kenyon has bled this organization dry since he arrived.  I appreciate his abilities, but unless he takes a mid-level exception, i.e. to the tune of approx. $5 mil. we don't want him back.  Birdman is a fan favorite, but honestly an offensive liability and he can't stay healthy.  We need to get younger, not sign mediocre players that are 32 or older after the season.  Sorry I totally disagree with this line of thinking and I sincerely hope the nugs do too.

Since: Dec 7, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:10 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Dude, Camby hasn't  been on our team for 3 years.  Also, AR, Gallinari and any other player the knicks have do not have nearly the upside as Favors.  Favors is better than any of those guys now, let alone in 2 years

Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:09 am

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

What not double that number and have levarge over the free agents this coming year. 

I cannot stress that any free agent worth having is not coming here and if Antawn Jamison is one of the top names then money to spend is evenmore worthless.  All we need cap space for is to resign yougn players we have that we want to stick around.

You say that like you are tryiing to convince me, a lot of people like you want to convince me Iggy is leaving, want Iggy to leave.  There are a lot of teams that would love to get Iggy, he can't leave.

The rumor is we have bad contracts hampering this team and that is not true, go look at our payroll sometime.  While Brand's contract is too big, Iggy's is not far from his value and the next two biggest contracts are gone after this year.  The Sixers organization wants you to believe we are hampered by bad contracts because the Sixers organization loves excuses.  What hampers this team is that the same people who have been draggin us down over the last 30 years are entrenched within the organization.  We have a bad front office, we have a bad coach, we have bad scouts, we have too many players with no clear defined position, we have too many players that are the exact player, we have too many players who can't be taught anything.  Those are teh things hampering the Sixers.  We are at rock bottom.  There will be no moves because what they can't afford to do is make the wrong move. 

But I am sure all the players in the league who come play in Philly will be real impressed by an empty stadium, our bad reputation, and a coach who after 21 games still can't teach this team how to execute a pick-and-roll.

YOu really have no idea just how bad it is here, how much everyone here hates the Sixers.  90% of philly hoops fans watch college basketball because they don't consider the Sixers basketball.

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