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: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:48 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

  I merely brought the sixers into this for the mere fact that rumors are Iggy wants out of Phili and this is a way to do it. As a sixers fan i can't see how you wouldn't want a trade like this to happen. The team already has been in disarray since Ai left years ago, and bad contracts (Isiah like in mike book) hampered this team. The team has supposedly been in rebuilding for years and even if you get 15 million more on the books for this summer, why not an extra 15 million with curry and JR expiring contract. Thats 30 million+ in cap space (mind you this is subject to change whenever the new CBA labor agreement is made) to go out and lure potential All-stars or new players to Phili, and this free agent class this summer mind you isn't the one of last summer but still D.Williams is free, Crawford is free, i think Antwan Jamieson is a free agent also, there is talent out there. I see it this way if your going to get money this summer why not get an opportunity to double that number and have leverage over the free agency pool this summer.
 Side note to the Bulls fan a couple posts down, just shutup with your nonsense and go back to your corner and go cry elsewhere about your Bull sucking it up recently. Who cares what the Knicks opponents records are and if they are sub .500 teams, they are winning. If this was any other team in the league they would be getting praise for this streak not criticism. Also if im not mistaken didn't your Bulls lose to the Knicks, and for the those sub .500 teams that everyone has pointed out they aren't all bad either. The Raptors did run the Thunder the other night, the Bobcats did beat the Nuggets and last time i check the Heat lost to Memphis and Indiana both .500 teams and you see nobody getting on the Heats case of well i don't know i they are good or not they barely beat good teams and they have lost to a couple .500 teams.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:27 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

     Man i wish i was back in home in NY right and able to go to a Knicks game. I remember growing up and going to see the 90's Knicks duke it out with the Bulls or Heat (which Mourning was a beast and in my opinion one of the best centers to ever play the game). As for the trade I wouldn't mind getting rid of Gallo for two reasons. One is when he's is on he is on, but for the most part he is a streaky player albeit his defense as of recently has gotten much better. Still though i would rather have Melo there putting up a guaranteed 20+ points a night instead of seeing which Gallo shows up on a nightly basis the hot hand who puts up 30 pts or the 1-10 and 0-7 from the 3pt Gallo. The second reason is also if a trade were to occur the Knicks would have to give up two maybe three players. AR and Curry are locked on that list already, but the second and maybe third player would have to come from a list of Gallo/Chandler/Fields. Chandler and Fields are playing amazing basketball and are more crucial to the knicks winning than Gallo is. In the end do you think keeping Gallo and giving away someone like Chandler who is a way better player is worth that trade? I don't think so. Thats why if Walsh is smart he gets a third team involved so to limit the number of players the Knicks could potentially lose should a trade occur.

Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:25 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

I don't see Melo getting traded anytime soon either, I agree with everyone on that.  Totally agree that the articles talking about getting Melo traded are just rehashing the same meaningless stuff time in time out.  What I find funny is how people are convinced or considering involving the Sixers in all this.

First the Sixers have no idea what they want to do or what kind of team they want to become, and they are going very very slow, Doug Collins and Rod Thorn are taking their time evlauating all their players, no way we make ANY trade till January.  Also, the Sixers can't make any trade that does not improve their standing with their fan base.  If we are involved with a trade for MELO but he goes to a different team it will just make the locals hate the Sixers more.  Make no mistake the locals hate the Sixers, the stadium is empty.  Doug Collins was quoted today saying last night before the game "Man, it's quiet in here, we are going to have to make our own energy tonight guys."  The announced attendance was 10662, there might have been 6000 actually in the seats.  This is the norm.  They can't sell out against the Celtics, Heat, or Lakers.  traditionally no matter how bad they were they could do that, not anymore.  Nobody wants to give the Sixers their money, they are giving away tickets by the thousands.

Second the Sixers don't need to trade anyone to create space next year, we lose almost 15 million in salary just by the expiring contracts of Jason Kapono and Darius Sagnalia.  Meaning we don't need a trade to just create space, AND no one wants to come here, MELO doesn't, because there is no life here because all the locals hate the Sixers because the organization has alienated everyone and we are all just tired.

Andre Iguodala is not going anywhere.  His contract is big but not any worse then Elton Brand's contract and Iggy is beloved by Doug Collins.  There is no way Doug is agreeing to it, ALSO the two dunks Iggy gets a game are about the only reason to watch a Sixers game.  If we get rid of him for a name the fan base cannot recognize this ship sinks and no one goes to see this team for the rest of the season.  I cannot stress enough that the stadium is two thirds empty now, the front office knows it, and trading Iggy will only make that worse.  Make no mistake as a franchise this is rock bottom in its relationship with its fans.

If you want to use the Sixers in a hypothetical have fun and knock yourself out, just know that the chances are it ain't happening. 

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:24 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

First off the Knicks are garbage too.  They have 2 quality wins all year (Bulls, New Orleans).  The other 12 wins are from teams with a combined record of 57 - 136  (29.75  win % = AWFUL ).  Second, why would the sixers give up a quality player and take jr smith and eddie curry?  The sixers cannot run a team, but are they that stupid?  The nuggets might actually be interested in iggy and gallo, but I doubt they want the other two bums.  I don't see Melo going to NY, barring a miracle.

Since: Dec 8, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:22 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

You know, im a die-hard nuggets fan and a huge Mello fan and im getting really tired of hearing all these trade rumors about Mello going to New York or New Jersey. Frankly, i dont understand why the Nuggets haven't traded him away yet. I think it was quite obvious that he didnt want to resign 2 months ago when a fat offer was put out on the table. what the Nuggets need to do now is focus on some of the talent that we do have on the team like Kenyon Martin, who is just waiting for a contract extension, like Birdman whos contract expires soon. those two alone help make the team what it is today and in my opinion, they are who we need to be worried about at this point. from the research i have done i can almost assure you that if the nuggets had made Martin any kind of offer, he'd be back playin ball for us right now. we need his defensive talent and his strength in the paint to help move this team forward.

Since: May 3, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:03 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Melo goes to the knicks, Eddie Curry and JR Smith goes to the 76ers and Iggy/Gallo/AR/T Young go to the Nuggets.

That actually sounds like a really great deal for all 3 teams, nice work. I'm not, however, content with the idea of dealing Gallo. The kid is perfect in our system, great shooter and can drive the line when needed, i don't see any reason to deal him and i highly doubt Walsh will. In fact, i'm prefectly happy with the team the knicks currently have, i've always been a fan of Wilson Chandler who's turning into a "do it all" player much like a Josh Smith/ Gerald Wallace. I just can't see how Melo could accept a trade and an extension with the Nets while watching the Knicks have this much success building around Stoudemire. The Garden is wild right now, the fans are pouring in and giving their heart, there's a playoff atmosphere every game. This is the environment Melo wants and you can bet he wants to play with Stoudemire and eventually Paul with the Knicks.

For those that keep milking that "Nets have better pieces" nonsense, take a real good look at both rosters before talking. Favors, hasn't shown a thing in his rookie season, just because he was a high draft pick doesn't make him the best piece in any trade. And why would Denver accept a trade without Brook "I can't rebound" Lopez or Devin "always injured" Harris? Brook and Melo aren't an intimidating xombo, far worse than what he has in Denver right now.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:46 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Seriously how can people say the Nets are favorites for Melo. The Nets flat out suck right now with their current roster they will be luck to get 20 maybe 25 wins and i think thats being generous. First off the Knicks are a way better team than the Nets,and I'm sure Melo has been following them. If he's smart and wants to win a championship he goes to New York. Second lets say by some miracle the Nets do land Melo in a trade they will still suck. In order to make it happen they will have to trade Harris, Favors, a few first rounders and maybe Humphries or some money right there they are unloading two of their best players. With those players gone Melo will be there with only lopez and farmar running the point? I don't see that ever working out in particular when Farmer is more of a 2 guard then a pg. Also how can the Nuggets not want any player on the Knicks roster. They can get AR who with a good coach in Karl could be the next big man to replace the aging Camby or Nene in the lineup. Finally if im Donnie Walsh and want to get Melo i would try to get a third team involved, I have posted on other sites of this trade scenario involving Nuggets/Knicks/76ers. Melo goes to the knicks, Eddie Curry and JR Smith goes to the 76ers and Iggy/Gallo/AR/T Young go to the Nuggets. Im surprised no one has thought of or mentioned this because i think it benefits all teams involved. The Nuggets get a good player in Iggy and good young players to develop and build a team around, The 76ers get JR and cap space for this summer to go out and get somebody,and finally the Knicks land the final piece they need to contend. Seriously can someone call Walsh for me and tell him to make this trade happen?

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:38 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Berger, you have been wrong about Melo be traded every single time. Just wait till he is traded dude, this is like your 100th bogus article about him being traded. Admit it Burger, you don't have a clue about the NBA.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:33 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Melo is going to the Knicks man. Knicks are being smart by waiting it out.  If he wasn't coming to the Knicks, don't you think it would've happened already?? NJ has been talking and presenting similar packages for months, nothing has changed. 

Since: Jul 5, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:22 pm

Post-Ups: Nuggets ready to move Melo

Who in the world would want to play for the Knicks?  Why not the Clippers?  Weather is nicer in Cali.

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