Blog Entry

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:06 am
Executives haggling over the potential blockbuster trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey were underground Tuesday, creating a veil of secrecy that could create a more fertile environment for a deal, multiple sources told 

After a contentious weekend of talks marked by fury among Denver officials over persistent leaks about the discussions, it became clear that Nuggets executives Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke had taken firm control of the negotiations. 

While Nets GM Billy King, brought to New Jersey for his ability as a savvy deal-maker, has been the driving force behind the Melo-to-New Jersey talks since September, all parties with a stake in the matter are now taking their cues from Ujiri -- signaling a bold show of strength from the young executive who has been thrust into a franchise-shaping moment for the Nuggets. 

“Underground,” is how one prominent agent with ties to the talks described the state of negotiations. 

The secretive tone of the talks bolstered a belief among rival executives that the flurry of information that emanated from the discussions over the weekend was too detailed and public to represent the substance of a real, imminent deal. In fact, sources have told that Denver officials were not only frustrated with the public nature of the talks, but also felt pushed into a scenario they were not yet ready to act upon. 

Upon receiving word from New Jersey officials Sunday that Pistons president Joe Dumars had received upper management approval to join the potential blockbuster by sending Richard Hamilton to the Nets for Troy Murphy’s expiring contract and Johan Petro, the Nuggets did not view it as a defining moment in the completion of a deal. Instead, Ujiri and Kroenke informed the Nets that they were stiil deliberating several aspects of the situation, including whether a two-team or three-team deal was best for them. The Nuggets also wanted to explore whether they could achieve more savings in the deal by finding a taker for either Al Harrington or Renaldo Balkman, and obtain another young player -- perhaps by inviting a fourth team into the equation. 

The conflicting agendas represented a repeat of the environment that saw a four-team deal involving Charlotte and Utah fall apart prior to training camp. But with the Pistons solidly committed, having negotiated a second-round pick from the Nets for taking Petro, the Nuggets and Nets are left to try to smooth out their differences in an attempt to finalize the complicated trade. 

Ill will over the public nature of the weekend talks and external pressure Ujiri and Kroenke were getting will not be a deal breaker, one executive involved in the negotiations told And it became clear Tuesday that with Denver officials calling the shots and demanding discretion, it would give the discussions the best chance they’ve had to reach a conclusion. 

Meanwhile, though, Nuggets officials remain committed to exploring every potential offer from other teams, including the Knicks, who are Anthony’s preferred destination. With a meeting looming among Anthony, Ujiri and Kroenke to discuss the status of talks and his feelings about signing a three-year extension with the Nets, clarity should come soon.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:43 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

I still don't see the benefits for the Pistons. 

Since: Dec 16, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:35 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Say what you want about how the nets have played the past years. Do we all forget who owned NY area th prior 7 years? The NEts did they went to 2 NBA finals while the knicks were home playing with themselves. The knicks have been worse then the nets and its only this year that they have been doing well. Knick fans, stop with making it sound like you are in a better situation then the nets. If the Nets get Melo, rip and billups along with lopez they have a better starting 5 then the knicks! Lets also remember that the nets are moving to Brooklyn and will have better, newer stadium and a better owner with more money! 

Since: Jul 11, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:23 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Great post Gambi. I don't see how Denver has managed to put itself in a position of power. Anthony can leave them via free agency this summer and they get nothing. If they deal him to a team wanting to "rent" him for the rest of this season, they won't get much, because no team is selling off all its assets for a few months of service. It's either the Knicks or the Nets, and Anthony will still have to sign off on an extension before the Nets are willing to make the move. If I'm the Nets, I say "Ok, you want to blow this deal over Al Harrington, then keep him. Keep Anthony. We'll see how well your fans take it when Melo walks and you get zilch in return" followed by "Oh, you want to trade him to the Knicks? For what, their draft pick in 2016 and Gallo? Go ahead and do that. Say hello to the cellar, because it's your new home in the Western Conference." Denver has gotten greedy, wanting to purge their entire team through one trade. Denver must want to linger until it's an eight team deal where they dump Anthony, Billups, Nene, Anderson, Martin, and Smith while receiving New Jersey's entire roster and 8 draft picks. If New Jersey would just be patient and draft well, they could have an OK City type team by the time they move to Brooklyn, rather than "Here's your Brooklyn Nets, perennial contender for the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference!" And finally, can someone make this trade happen so we can move on?!?!?

Since: Sep 24, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:22 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

True, we need to get rid of our big contracts asap.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:22 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Lets face it teh Nuggets owner have no clue what they are doing....It will be funny if they don't trade and Melo gets to play just any ole place he wants.....

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:33 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Get on with it already!

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:28 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Wow I really hope the Nets just walk away from this mess. Yes Melo is a great player but the Nets are too far behind in talent to make a difference even if they get Melo, Rip and Billups. Also it seems by the day the price is going up for the Nets. If I was the GM I would of said "fine, trade him to the Knicks" once Denver's GM threaten to because he felt being "pressured"! If they feel they can get a better deal then fine they should make the other trade. I'll will tell you this that the Knicks are no way, and they shouldn't, pay top dollar for Melo. Denver knows this and if they want Gallo, Randolph and just one #1 pick then they should go for it. We also know the Knicks, who have been in cap hell for years, are no way taking bad contracts back either. So why should the Nets make this deal when no other team can even come close to matching what they are giving up? If I was Mr.King I would tell Mr.P (we all know how much he wants Melo here) that they would be giving up ALL their assets they have aquired over the last three years of losing and he's just not worth it. They need to do it the "old fashion way"...through the draft (6-1st rd picks next 3 years) and then if they want a "big" star, wait until they are free-agents so they will be "free" in signing instead of mortgaging your future!!!!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:13 pm

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

As a Knicks fan, I'm getting sick of this.  1)  no one wantsd to play for the Nets 2) Melo doesnt want to be on a team that'll take atleast 3 more years to develop IF THEY ever do.  3)  I don't want to give up anyone.  4) we need a big man more than Melo

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:42 am

Melo update: Underground talks could lead to deal

Yes, Billy King is quite the savvy deal-maker. For the other team.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:32 am


Considering you've been following this story since mid-summer, what will you do once he finally is/isn't traded? 

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