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: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:30 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I can't beleive we're still talking about this.  This was done for 2 reasons.  A) to light a fire under the LAkers, threating them w/ trades B) to concern the Knicks and raise their offer.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:59 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Im actually very close to melo and hes pushing for the lakers.he wants a ring and the lakers give him the best chance.

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:55 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I think the Lakers could be using this to light a fire under Bynum as well Artest.  I can Bynum doing whatever it takes to not go to Denver, which is why Phil Jackson wants to see how the trip to Boston and Orlando goes.  The funny thing is the Lakers probably need Billups right now more the Carmelo opposing point guards are killing the Lakers with penetration, fouls, Kobe's using more energy trying to stay with smaller, quicker guards. Steve Blake can't gaurd anybody, Fishers old, and Shannon Brown's athleticism only works on the offensive end.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:44 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

The reason they would do it when they had a better offer from NJ is becuase Melo nixed that deal, not the Nuggets. W/O a commitment to an extension Denver is SOL.  But the Lakers might do it to get them over the hump this year, and Melo might be receptive to change his mind about an extension if it means playing with Kobe and Pau... but I doubt it.  He is so close to getting what he wants,  to play for the Knicks.  And the Knicks actually have a decent team now, so I bet Melo sticks to his guns.  Which leaves the Nuggets having to trade him for what he is worth as a 1 year rental, far less than if he would agree to an extension somewhere.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:52 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This was all they talked about on LA talk radio yesterday.  The most important question I heard was "why would Denver do this when they had a much better offer from New Jersey?"

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:25 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Good point Johnb7884.  I hear all the time how Perkins would have made a difference.  If we go that route then we have to include Bynum in the argument.  If he was healthy we would have ended the series in 6 games.  When Bynum was able to play heavy minutes he produced points and boards.  The Celtics lost Perkins boards in game 7 for Rasheed's scoring, defense and boards and still got outrebounded by 22 on the offensive end.  Defintely the reason they lost game 7.  Kobe, Odom and Gasol outrebounded the whole Celtics team.  So excluding Perkins and Bynum from the equation the Celtics couldn't get it done.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:24 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

to all the writers..carmelo anthony will either be traded to or will sign with the knicks..1 way or the other..why dont you writers write about the real story..that you cant buy a woman, you cant get laid in a chinese who**house with a bunch of $50's hanging out your pocket..and the 30,000 you make is pathetic..just write the truth the way it is instead of fabrications...losers...hope osama finds you..and you move to a nice cave with him

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 11:31 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

berger is lying through his teeth....lakers confirmed today that they have no intention of trading away their future with bynum....source rotoworld....berger your a friggin gossip column writer, who has no connections to report anything of substance....this story has no legs, and no ground to stand on.....when i read cbs i feel like i'm reading the national inquirer.....

Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2011 11:28 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

At first glace this seems like a dream trade for the Lakers, it's really not. The thing that separates the Lakers from everyone else, except Boston, is their length and defense. Trading oft-injured Bynum would drastically reduce both of those key attributes that the Lakers have over the rest of the NBA. Now yes, I did say oft-injured Bynum. That part of it is the only reason that there is a remote chance of this trade going down. While the Lakers do appear to be more human than in prior years, they are still an elite team. They have been to 3 straight finals and won the last 2, that is all they are playing for. Not the best record in the league or conference, not the #1 seed, not home court advantage. They can win anywhere and against anyone. This trade does NOT happen.

Since: Apr 18, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2011 10:56 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I agree that Melo to the Lakers looks too complicated at first look. But dismiss any concerns about Melo wanting to play or extend contract in LA because the chance to win championships would be enough. The Lebron situation with Clevland is putting pressure on Denver to make the best deal possible so rebuilding the franchise will be fast and not resemble the Cavs. There is no guarantee that Denver will do what is best for Melo must consider what is best for franchise. The success of Boston's big three  has encouraged others to attempt to copy we may find out just how special Boston's three truly are.

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