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: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:33 pm

Bynum unreliable as a starter

Lakers need to trade Bynum before his knee replacement is scheduled. His recent comments about  it being day to day make it unlikely he will ever be a reliable everyday starter.  

Since: Jan 19, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:28 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Hope that will not happen. Ok they have only a few years together- Kobe wiil quit in a few years- but think the trend to have 3Stars in a team isnt good for the league. There are only two 2 or 3 teams which will fight for the title. And you have more bad teams like Raptors or T,wolves. Think the league gets very uninterested for next years if that will happen. I would bet we have all year the same finals Heat vs, Lakers. And both will reach the finals easily.
Sorry for my bad English.

Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:26 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

They eliminated the Celtics because Perkins was injured, otherwise, it would have been a Celtics title, for sure.

Would you like some cheese with that?

Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:24 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Bynum isn't any more of a "star" than Wilson Chandler.  They are both just good players
Wrong-Bynum is way more valuable because he's a 7 footer with huge upside, and in case you haven't noticed those don't exactly grow on trees. Wilsson Chandler is a decent player with very little NBA experience, Bynum is way ahead of him.

Since: Aug 15, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:22 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

the Celtics are older than the lakers. and the lakers have won the past two championships. its common to lose a little bit of fire when you've won two in a row, but come offseason they'll be ready. Im not saying theyre gonna win, but they'll be a tough team. i dont think they are desperate by any means

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:14 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

i had a dream that Mello went to the suns , and woke up with a broken heart.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:01 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Desparate to keep up with the Celtics? Getting old? The Celtics are the oldest team in the league and, last I checked, the Lakers beat them for the title. Why would they want to "keep up" with teams that finish behind them?

Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:41 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I don't understand why Denver would make that trade or any other team for that matter.  Bynum plays on a team full of stars and hasn't even played an entire season injury free.  I don't see what the big deal is about this guy.  To me he is the reincarnation of Yao Ming.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:35 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This man makes millions playing basketball why doesn't Carmello Anthony just play. the Nuggets are not going to get everything they want for him The Lakers are just getting old they are desperate to try to keep up with the Celtics and doing a miserable job.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:35 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

This is great news and only fair since Miami has their three stars.  Kobe, Pau, and Melo makes the playing field level.  My question:  If the NBA is going to be a league where the big dogs get three stars, how many teams will the new league be?

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