Blog Entry

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 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 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.

Since: Apr 18, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:24 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I agree, the Lakers biggest problem is at point guard. I would not trade Bynum. We have seen what the long term outcome is when Gasol plays heavy minutes, hamstring problems, fatigue etc....Bynums injury problems has been frustrating, but the kid would be a rookie or 2nd year pro if he had went to college. Bynum is the ONLY young player the Lakers have that is a future All-Star. Jerry West always did a great job keeping a roster balanced with vets and younger players, lets not push the panic button just yet.Trading Artest is the key!I feel the SF position is an area of need also, but we can get production out of Barnes (when he returns) and let Walton and Ebanks split some bench minutes. For that matter, let Odom get some early minutes at the three too! As far as point goes, A. Miller would be a great addition, maybe we could send ARTEST and our #1 to Portland for Miller. If it were to happen I see the LAKERS looking something like this:

PG A. Miller
SG K. Bryant
SF M. Barnes
PF P. Gasol
C  A. Bynum


PG Fisher/Blake
SG S. Brown
SF Ebanks/Walton
PF Odom
PF Character/ J. Smith

Another thing that would help the Lakers is if PJ allowed Character and Ebanks to get some meaningful minutes. This would be a way to infuse some young legs into the veteran rotation. We might find that Ebanks can give us some time in the playoffs and Character could give us another big body if injuries and foul trouble comes up later on.

Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:16 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This would be a really stupid deal - for the Nuggets. Bynum is made of glass.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:08 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

too much drama with Carmellllllo.  he'll be a dagger in the Laker's re-repeating chances.  book it.
otherwise, i agree that denver probably won't try to trade within conference.  good mix with him to the knicks.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:04 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

HAHAHA, REBEL- you sound a little nervous bro!  

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:02 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This is Nuts. Why would they trade within thier own conference.? Melo is going to Knicks and that is that. They aren't going to take a star that is damaged. Chandler is also damaged on Knicks but that is a low money risk. Bynum is a High Money Player and Risk. Dolan should stay out of this. The Knicks need Melo now . 16 more days of this. Melo just sign with the Knicks and let Winning come back to NY !

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:01 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

thats actually pretty good for all teams.. Lakers lose depth... however a starting 5 of
PG- BillupsSG- KobePF- LamarSF- MeloC- Pau


Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:59 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

They won't trade him in the West?  If someone offers the most and they happen to be in the Western Conference, that's where he will go.  They HAVE to trade him, otherwise he walks and they get nothing.  They will take the best deal on the table the day of the deadline.  They are not in a position to be that picky.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:58 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Lakers would lose that front court size, but still have 2 7 footers in pau and odom, can u imagine the melo/kobe combo though... its the only 2 player combo that could rival Lebron/wade!  that would be crazy!

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:56 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

How about this deal that would bring in a third team.

Lakers get:

Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups

Hawks get:

Ron Artest
Steve Blake
Matt Barnes
Lakers 2011 2nd Round Pick

Nuggets get:

Andrew Bynum
Marvin Williams
Jeff Teague
Maurice Evans
Atlanta's 2011 1st Round Pick

This is about the fairest trade I've seen proposed.

Since: Feb 21, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:55 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Oddly, rumors in New  York is the Buss, LA's owner, has nixed the deal.  Crazy, because it does seem like Denver is getting killed in this deal.  What is strange about this piece, and if true, Denver's thinking, is the idea that Bynum is a "star."  He's averaging 11 and 7 this year, and his best average points wise was 15 a game last year and his best rebound average was a couple of years back with just a bit more than 10 rebounds a game.  He is a really good player, who, if he could play consistently could develop into an Al-Star caliber player.  But, he cannot stay healthy, and if he cannot do it at 23, why would any team decide to build around him.  Just amazing.

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