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: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:40 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Lets hope this one doesn't work out.  As much as Kobe may like and respect Melo, LA and Kobe doesn't really need a Melo - there is really not that much he brings that they don't already have.  Leaving Pao in the middle works for most of the league, but that group doesn't match up with Boston or Miami.  LA/kobe needs a stud in the middle like Dwight Howard.  The Lakes need to work a 3 way deal with Orlando.  Bynum and Melo end up in Orlando, and Dwight Howard in LA.  A deal that makes sense for all concerned.   Orlando dishes a soon to be free agent get nothing for him star in Howard, and gets Melo and gets enough to contend and possibly win it all if Bynum holds up.  Add Howard to the Lakers and this team is scary good for a few years. 

Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:29 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I don't personally see this happening, but stranger things have happened.  Bynum is too important to the Lakers come playoff time.  The first thing I thought of when I heard this was that the Anthony camp fabricated these Laker talks to get a better deal going with other teams.

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:18 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Classic Bergertale.

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:23 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

the trade is also about money and the ability for Denver to pickup other quality players to compliment Bynum.  It is a good move for both teams.  The Lakers need some new energy.

Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:22 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

    I don't usually throw criticisms around - But I have to in Melo's case. He is a punk -  During a skuffle in a game, he popped right out from behind a teammate and sucker punched an opposing player when he wasn't loking..... and then ran and hid from any repercusion by moving to the back of the melee.
    I don't think I'll ever forget that about Anthony - it was so weak - so much a punk's behavior.
    Everybody's got an opinion, and that is mine.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:54 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

i could be an idiot and say, "i don't see how this trade works, and i can't see melo and kobe playing well together." however the fact of the matter is, this would be an incredible deal, that would solidfy the lakers as contenders for at least the next 3 years....bynum is a great talent, but too injury prone...melo and kobe, with pao and lamar....scary good, and i'm a die hard clips i would like nothing more than to hate this deal, but being objective, the lakers would kill adding melo...i hope it doesn't go through for the nba's sake

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:35 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

The Lakers won a championship last year because of their front court size. Take Bynum off their roster and they don't win the title. As a Celtic fan I would love this trade. The Lakers trade one of their strenghts away to get a head case malcontent punk.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:13 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I hear Evryone saying this Trade will not happen,LMAO @ All of U!!! The same was sayed about Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. I rest my case.....

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:03 am

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This may not happen but get real about some remarks ! You said Melo plays no defense like Kobe ?? Kobe is on the All NBA defensive team most years !! How can anyone take you seriously when you say ridiculous things that make a person assume you know nothing about the NBA. You a Laker hater ? Its that or you know nothing about the league,

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:42 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Please put to bed the thought of the "mello' going to the Lakers. It makes absolutely no sense for either franchise. The Lakers get a dude who plays no defense and shoots a ton (hello Kobe) and the Nuggets get some stiff that plays maybe 40 games a season.

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