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: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:12 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Carmelo for Bynum might be a reasonable trade in theory but will the Nugget management go through with it? They would not pull the string on Derrick Favors, Kris Humphries, and at least two first round picks. They talk about wanting to build for the future, how much more can you expect than what the Nets were offering. So they gave up on Favors, Humpheries, two first rounders and other players. Now people are excited that they may consider an offer for just Bynum who can't even make it through a year without being injured or a trade for Chandler, Brewer, and a first round pick. Denver, what are you thinking before long you are going to be "considering" trading Carmelo for Roy Hibbert or JaVale McGhee. Come on either make a decent trade or keep him and lose him during free agency to the Knicks, Bulls or possibly the Lakers but please make up your mind. Why is this taking longer than LeBron?

Since: Dec 11, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:05 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

IMO I don't see Melo to LA happening.

Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:29 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I am not sure I can see Kobe and Carmelo together and it being successful enough. Hoop is all about touches, and I am not sure that they can get enough. Also, how long is Dr. Phil going to hang around? If this is a future move for the Lakers, maybe, especially if Kobe has suddenly expressed to the Laker front office that he might be considering throwing in the towel. That in itself would be interesting, especially if there is a long lock-out. 

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:14 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I guess they would have to cut the ball in half to keep both happy

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:00 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

right on Rasta recharge, screw Sterns.  I hate that man with a passion and wish him eternal damnation for the destruction he has enacted on the NBA.  He is a slavemaster who hates black culture and has made the league so corporate and given the refs so much power to be corrupt that no one wants to watch it.  I remember when NBA was huge and now few still follow it.  I do hold Sterns largely responsible for the demise of the league, and I curse him everytime I see players get technicals for looking at each other or the refs wrong.  The game has gone soft and corporate, and it is sad to see.  However, Im not sure Sterns has much to do with where Melo ends up, although you know he wants him to go to NY or LA.

Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:55 pm

Dirk for Melo

Hey Cuban, get some balls and some brains trade Haywood and Dirk for Melo and Billups, the money works!!

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:39 pm

Not Happening, Nuggets are TRYING

to get the Knicks to offer more for Melo. After getting low ball offers and realizing that they will probably get nothing for Melo, they are trying to include other teams. 

Not happening. They should have taken the Nets offer instead of acting like they needed the world for a guy who does not want to be there. 

It's evident what they are trying to do. Bynum is not leaving. 

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:13 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Bynum for Anthony?  Worst trade in the history of...OK, well maybe not the WORST trade ever, but Bynum is junk.  I have a fifteen year old lawnmower I leave out in the snow all winter that's in better condition than Bynum.  He could break down again ANY TIME.  Feel badly for the guy, but even in his 20's, he's on his way down.  If Denver accepts any part of this trade, then they've clearly thrown in the towel and can look towards several years of rebuilding alongside Cleveland.  This would be a terrible move...

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:48 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Wow, I love to see this trade coming...Bynum for Carmelo. I hope they get chancy too, if not Nene for Artest would be fine but i believe the nuggets is not interested in Artest. Maybe bobcats Gerald Wallace or Stephen Jackson would be nice.

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:40 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

IF that happened, Carmelo would essentially be pulling a Lebron--gravy training (Lebron Heat, Carmelo Lakers)where there are established stars. Plus Knicks fans would hate him as well as Lebron.

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