Blog Entry

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

Posted on: January 9, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 2:18 am
UPDATED 2:18 a.m. ET

Carmelo Anthony "does not need to be convinced" to sign a contact extension as part of a blockbuster, three-team trade that would send the three-time All-Star to New Jersey, league sources told Sunday night.

One executive involved in the trade talks called Anthony's stance on an extension with the Nets "a non-factor," because the teams involved "already know it won't hold up the deal." The tipping point in moving Melo toward giving up his preference to wind up with the Knicks was the involvement of the Pistons, who would send Richard Hamilton to the Nets to help Anthony with his reclamation project in Newark, N.J., for the next year-and-a-half.

That key component was close to agreement Sunday night, with the Pistons poised to send Hamilton to New Jersey in exchange for Troy Murphy's expiring contract and Johan Petro -- who may go to the Pistons or somewhere else, sources said. Hamilton, who has two years and $25 million left on his deal, was the key cog in a broader plan to entice Anthony to give up his resistance to extending with the Nets instead of insisting on a deal to his preferred destination.

The other part of that equation involves Chauncey Billups joining Anthony and reuniting with Hamilton in New Jersey, sources said. The principle pieces New Jersey has offered to the Nuggets all along -- Derrick Favors and multiple first-round picks -- would still go to Denver in this three-team scenario. The involvement of Billups, who has stated that he wants to retire with the Nuggets, necessitates the Nets sending Devin Harris to the Nuggets. 

Though Billups would prefer to stay in Denver, a person with direct knowledge of his thinking rejected the notion of the Nets buying him out this season if he is sent to New Jersey in this trade. "Highly unlikely," the person said.

Numerous other players -- for a total of as many as 15 in the eventual deal -- are being discussed as the Nuggets finally have begun to push forward amid pressure from Anthony's representatives, Leon Rose and William Wesley of Creative Artists Agency, to put an end to the uncertainty over Anthony's future. 

The deal is so complicated, with so many agendas to satisfy -- from the three teams involved to the cadre of high-profile agents roped into the talks -- that plenty could go wrong. One executive involved in the talks told Sunday night that the deal was not imminent, while others said discussions were continuing and players were being added and subtracted from the deal. According to rival executives who've negotiated with the Nuggets on other Anthony scenarios, Denver should heed of the dangers of killing another good deal after a four-team trade involving New Jersey, Utah and Charlotte fell apart amid indecision and overshooting by the Nuggets.

"Eventually, they're going to have to say, 'This is the best deal we're going to get,'" one of the rival execs said. "Last-second ramming guys in and out is not going to fly."

One last-minute change he Nuggets were believed to be seeking was having New Jersey take more salary off their hands. If that sounds familiar, that is exactly how the Utah-Charlotte deal fell apart. But in this case, the third team, Detroit, believes it has its part of the deal solidly in place and is more motivated to gain the savings from moving Hamilton than Utah and Charlotte were to participate last time.

One person with knowledge of the talks said Al Harrington, whose name has been included in previous incarnations of a straight-up Denver-New Jersey deal, had not yet been brought into this three-team version -- but the names were still changing overnight, sources said.

The Nets have been proceeding for months with the understanding that Anthony would sign off on a three-year, $65 million extension without which the above talks would die an immediate death. Their optimism is understandable, considering Anthony's agents have been the driving force behind several trade proposals that would send the three-time All-Star to Newark for a season-and-a-half before the team finally moves to Brooklyn -- Anthony's birthplace -- in 2012. 

"He wants the money and he wants to be from New York," one rival executive said in explaining Anthony's apparent rationale. "He gets the city he wants for the money he wants."

With the Hamilton component essentially agreed to, according to one of the executives involved, Anthony is as close as he's ever been to the moment of truth. Despite repeated assurances from Anthony's camp, the Nets did not yet have approval from Anthony's mouth as of Sunday night, according to one person familiar with the situation. 

Last month, a person directly involved in Anthony's decision told that the only team he'd agree to an extension with via a trade was the Knicks. There have been no indications from Anthony himself that he has changed his stance. However, given the perceived risk of leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table with a punitive new collective bargaining agreement looming -- and with the addition of Hamilton and Billups meaning Anthony wouldn't have to go it alone in Newark -- the Nets and Nuggets are convinced the contractual issue won't blow up the deal. 

In the sort of delicious irony that often is the hallmark of major NBA trades, one of the key sticking points was which team would take Petro, who has two years and $6.75 million left on his contract. As the Record of Hackensack, N.J., first reported, the Nets initially tried to get the Pistons to absorb Petro's contract and fork over their 2011 first-round pick in the process. Pistons president Joe Dumars flatly rejected the invitation, but sources said the enormous savings from dumping Hamilton -- approximately $17 million -- was enough to entice the Pistons to absorb Petro as long as they don't have to surrender any picks in the process. Still, the Pistons would prefer if a fourth team could be found to take Petro, an option the Nets were aggressively exploring.

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:26 am

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

Knicks fans are delusional!   You guys keep talking as if the Knicks are the Lakers, Spurs or Celtics.  They're NOT!   Your team has been awful for the past 12 years. Yeah, the Nets had a horrific season last year, but, you look at the last decade, we blow you guys out of the water with the success we had!  Two Finals appearances, a Conference Finals appearance, six straight playoff appearances.  

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:56 pm

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

@ Urgirlwitmeknow... sorry fist off i didn't mean to challenge you, just quit smoking cigs so im a little off edge not to mention was in a bad mood before i posted. I'm from NY and a a long time knick fan, and it seeing Nets fan (which obviously you are not) make irrational claims of a contending team with Melo there is absurd. I don't think Billups, RIP, with Melo would even get the Nets out of the first round in a weak east. Second I'm a betting man but i wouldn't bet on Melo signing an extension with the Nets (because you never know and I'm not psychic). IF Melo does go to the Nets though I'm willing to wager anything that they would suck and never be a contending team. As for the Nets owner you are right in the sense he is a billionare and could get Melo global publicity, but remember for his publicity there also needs to be a good team with Melo, with which this deal that wouldn't happen and there would be no more cap space left to go get other pieces. As for A'mare you are right that Jefferson is making more in endorsements but Amare just came to the a Knicks team that has sucked horribly over the last decade, he already has the love of the city and trust me by the end of this season A'mare will be making more than Jefferson could even think of in endorsements.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:52 pm

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

I meant the *Nets are moving to NY.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:51 pm

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

Also your statement about money in New Jersey over NY in endorsements is not always true.  First, the Knicks are moving to they are not really a New Jersey team and second earlier in the decade, both Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson were making more money in endorsements then any Knick....And I'm sure that Russian billionaire owner of the Nets will get Melo involved globally and he will make a ton of money.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:45 pm

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

@roadsteeel...what is my team have to do with this????? why would I hate? I'm neither a Nuggets, Knicks or Nets Fan...You make absolutely no sense...ever heard of logic?  And I'll challenge you even further, I would like to make a side bet with you (involving money)...If you accept I'll send you my email we can exchange contact info, I'll bet you any amount of money you have that if this trade is only going to accepted if Melo signs an extension.....And I will if your a man and you really don't believe Melo will sign an extension you will put up the money.  If your not up to the challenge then you really don't believe in what you say.
As for the trade, If Amare can go to a pathetic 25 win Knick team and make them in to possibly a 45 win team, then the addition of Melo, Billusp and Hamilton will make the Nets even better....It seems that you are the one who is hating on the Nets...because I'm a neutral observer here and I can care less...both the Knicks and Nets Franchises have been terrible for years so don't act like either team sounds all that great. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 2:02 pm

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

 The Nets five first round picks by
  Their 2011 and 2012 first rounders  Warriors lottery protected first rounder  Lakers first rounder in that deal earlier that sent farmar to the Nets and they have one more but i forgot where it came from
   As they stand the Nets have 3 first round picks for the 2011 draft and 2 first rounders for the 2012 and sad to say that management hasn't even considered how much they suck and with that amount of first rounders you can seriously draft a championship team. Also for that jets fan who said Melo is signing an extension with the Nets, stop hating because your team sucks. There is no way in hell Melo signs an extension. Like i posted earlier look at his interview from last night does that guy look happy with the prospect of going to the Nets? Unless he has amazing poker face, Melo looked pissed at this whole situation. He is going to the Knicks not only because he wants to play at the Garden, but another prospect to consider also is so what if he makes less money by going to FA. If he comes to the Knicks he is going to compete every year for a championship which he wants to win one, also by playing in NY not NJ the amount of money he would make in endorsements would be ten times then his contract extension and i think he knows that, so really do you think the 65 mil extension is leverage against Melo think again? He is going to turn down this deal watch, and either he gets traded before the deadline or the Nuggets get screwed (which i hope they do for the way they have been handling this drama-ridden show).

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 11:20 am

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

He's coming to the Knicks..they may pull off the trade but I doubt he signs the extension.  And New Jersey is stupid if they do this trade....Leverage the future, pick up two old bodies with crap contracts, get rid of your picks...and somehow they think they're getting better?

If they do this, they're still not better than us.  Carmelo isn't stupid.  He'll get his max deal with the Knicks if he just plays the waiting game.

Say go New York go New York go!!

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:00 am

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

Carmelo, Lopez and the 2004 Pistons backcourt. Impressive. I still don't think the Nets will be a very good team, and they won't have a draft pick until 2037. Oh, and Old man Hamilton's huge contract coupled with Melo's salary and a reduced CBA will make it hard to even sign players to help the team.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2011 9:59 am

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

What is the reference for the Nets having five 1st rounders this year?  I know the have the Warriors pick (lottery protected this year).  WHere are the other 3?

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2011 9:27 am

Nets, Nuggets, Pistons close in on Melo deal

I agree. From a Piston's viewpoint this is no big deal. the Piston's have a long way to go before they are competitive in the East. It might happen when LaBron and the top players in the East become infirm. Hamilton's contract expires in two years, well before the Piston's will need any money. The player landscape changes every year. All they can do now is cultivate young players and hope to keep them in five years.

It would be better for Detroit if NJ gave Detroit their first round picks in 2013 and 2014. By that time Hamilton and Billups will be below average and NJ will be rebuilding again.

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