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Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 4:11 pm
 
The Lakers and Nuggets have achieved some traction with recent trade discussions involving Andrew Bynum and Carmelo Anthony, two people with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com Tuesday. 

Bynum-for-Anthony would be the obvious centerpiece in the proposed deal, but numerous other pieces that would have to be involved make it "very, very difficult to get this done," said one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss team business. 

The Lakers' early success in piquing the Nuggets' interest in Bynum represents a subtle shift in Denver's trade strategy. One of the people familiar with the talks said Nuggets officials have recently expressed a renewed desire to bring back a "star player" along with multiple draft picks in a trade for Anthony. A scenario involving the Knicks, Anthony's No. 1 choice in a trade, would not yield a star but would save the Nuggets significant money and provide cap relief to rebuild. 

UPDATE: ESPN The Magazine first reported the preliminary discussions between the Lakers and Nuggets Tuesday. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak declined to comment on the level of the team's involvement with the Nuggets, and spokesman John Black said the team doesn't comment on "trade rumors."

A third person connected to the situation said he found it "suspicious" that the Bynum-Anthony scenario would become public so soon after it was publicly revealed that the Knicks have found a willing participant in the Timberwolves to contribute to a three-team scenario that would send Anthony to New York. That person said he received some signals early last week that the Lakers and Nuggets were at least considering entering into Bynum-Anthony discussions.

"Someone is trying to scare New York," the person said.
 
Although Anthony's representatives with Creative Artists Agency have recently stepped up their efforts to circulate Melo's long-held preference for a trade to New York, those close to the three-time All-Star believe there is no question he would sign a three-year, $65 million extension as part of a trade to the Lakers. Such a scenario would give Anthony everything he wants -- top-dollar in an extension, the big-market allure that comes with the Lakers' Hollywood surroundings, and the inside track to his first championship. 

But such a complicated trade is much bigger than Anthony's desires. Sources say the Nuggets would insist on the Lakers recruiting a third team that could provide attractive first-round picks. From the Lakers' perspective, they also would be looking for a backcourt upgrade in the deal -- and sources say Chauncey Billups could fit that bill as a short-term replacement for struggling Derek Fisher

Also, despite his denials, sources say Ron Artest has, in fact, privately discussed wanting to be traded -- and Lakers officials have been eager to take him up on it, with no realistic takers given the nearly $22 million he is owed over the next three seasons. Including Artest in the framework of a Bynum-Melo deal is highly unlikely, given that Denver would balk at taking on his contract and any third team willing to surrender valuable picks wouldn't want it, either. 

UPDATE: In addition, a league source told CBSSports.com Tuesday that he put little credence in reports that Artest could be headed to the Bobcats for either Gerald Wallace or Stephen Jackson. When Artest signed with the Lakers two summers ago, the notion of him going to Charlotte was posed to part-owner Michael Jordan and GM Rod Higgins, who indicated he wasn't the right "fit" for the organization. Also, sources say Artest has been advised of no serious talks that would lead to him being traded -- something the Lakers, who are aware of how Artest's play could be affected by trade rumors, would be sure to do if they were close to trading him.

For these reasons and plenty of others, a Lakers-Nuggets deal centered around Bynum and Anthony is "a long way from being made," one of the sources said. 

But if the discussions gained momentum, the Lakers would be giving up their most valuable advantage -- front-court size -- for a player whose scoring talents mirror those of Kobe Bryant. But of all the stars on the 2008 Olympic gold-medal team, Bryant and Anthony were the two who grew closest in Beijing. It's one thing to co-exist on the national team, and quite another on an NBA team with obvious championship ambitions. But at least Bryant and Anthony would have a solid relationship and mutual respect as their foundation. 

And look at it this way: Bryant is still playing at a high level, but he can't do this forever. The opportunity to cash in a valuable asset like Bynum for a player who could not only team up with Bryant and win a title now, but replace him in the future, is too good to pass up. 

But as has been the case in every Melo trade scenario, the wild card is Denver. Are Nuggets officials willing to send their superstar to a conference rival, only to watch him torture their souls for years? Is a potential star center with suspect knees the best they can do for Anthony? These are among the many questions this tantalizing scenario presents -- and as usual with Anthony, there are more questions than answers.
Comments

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

JERRY BUSS just came out and said "bynum will be traded for no one"   srry Laker fans



Since: Aug 13, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

When the Lakers got "Cancer Cuttie Artest" I loved it.. it was a matter of time for them to figure out that a roten apple stays rotten.
My question to Laker fans is, "Why did you sign him"?LOL



Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

The deal makes sense to both teams. Denver is about to get nothing for Melo. Knicks are likely to just wait it out and pick him up as a FA. Lakers need to get younger and get ready to replace Kobe.

If the talks get serious, Knicks might just come forward with a good offer the Denver can pick.

Win Win win.. those of you who say Bynam is not enough don't get how close Denver is to getting nothing for Carmelo.

With Bynam gone, Lakers would need to shore up their front court but a tough grinder would fill the bill. Reggie Evans from Toronto if he was healthy would serve the purpose- let Lamar and Gasol be the inside threats with grinding support.



Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Blazers have no use for Artest. And a point guard in return would be needed. Won't happen w/the Blazers. Oh also Cho doesn't know how to make a deal anyways!



Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

The Nuggets would be so dumb to do this deal.  An often-injured center for Melo? 



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:36 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

OH ... and adding Billups into the trade hype was laughable.   Dever needs to get rid of Melo ... Billups, they have more control over so I don't see that happening and if it did, it wouldn't be to the same team that Melo goes to, that would minimize their return.   Who comes up with this stuff ... Faker Dreamers, that's who.   Unbelievable



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:36 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Well get your facts straight Berger.  Lakers just they wont trade bynum for anyone.  That was within an hour ago.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I wouldn't trade Birdman for Bynum, much less Melo.



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Would not do this deal unless it came with a decent backup big if the Lakers are gonna ship Bynum.  They need someone to rest Gasol and Odom.



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:30 pm
 

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Bynum is playing well RIGHT NOW ... so as far as short term, this would hurt the Lakers bigtime while their window of opportunity is still open.   Two or three years down the road, Bynum will be in a wheelchair, so long term it would kill the Nuggets.   And by that time, Kobe and company will be over the hill and Melo will be stuck on another rebuilding team.   So for all these reasons ... i really really hope this deal goes down.   As for Artest getting traded .. good luck with that.  The guy is USELESS now ... any team taking on that mess would be foolish.  The Lakers would literally have to eat most of his contract just to get a sniff ... and even then, it wouldn't be worth it for the new team taking on his headaches.    Got to love trade rumors ... good stuff!  LOL


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