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 4, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:18 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Yes, by all means get rid of our superstar for an often injured player. Perhaps Portland may be willing to unload Greg Oden. Please stop writing about every trade rumor and just tell me when an actual trade is goign to happen.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:14 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Denver wants a package built around "48 games" Bynum? Wow. Maybe they can just trade Anthony for Yao Ming. That's pretty stupid also. I think this is meant to motivate the Knicks to sweeten the pot a little. That, or the new Denver GM is about to be the former Denver GM.

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:13 pm

You have got to be kidding me.

     *see title

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:10 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.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:07 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Mitch has learned to stand tall in these type trades and negotiations. One reason this deal might not materialize is because the Lakers will never get a true #1 draft choice with being in the play offs and often competing for the NBA title and winning a lot of these.

With this being the case the Lakers draft choices are not as attractive as most since they would be picking close to the bottom of the first round unless they somehow get a #1 pick from another team, which is not likely.

Trading Bynum might not be sufficient enough for the Nuggets as everyone in the league know about the injury problems he has had over the past several years. I am sure they would want others in return to include draft choices.

Without Melo they might consider rebuilding thus draft choices or a gaggle of young players such as Bynum to build a team and take another 1-2 years to add from the draft as they would be near the top of the heap in the draft pecking order.

How  many other teams in the league do you know or think would want to help the Lakers under any circumstances?

Unless another team is having salary cap problems, rebuilding or want to dump pay for other reasons there will be no help for the Lakers from anyone. 
I could learn to live with Melo as part of the Laker team for the next several years, though I don’t think this will happen especially if Bynum continue to have a good year with no more serious injuries where he is out for a long period of time.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:03 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

Whats wrong with you bosoxbucky. They eliminated Boston because of Artest. Obviously your logic is flawed.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:01 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I'm so sick of this non-story...IF Melo goes somewhere, then report it - otherwise, please report only on REAL news.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:58 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

I have visions of Andrew Bynum in Mitch Kuchak's office begging for him not to make the trade. lol

No disrespect to the Nuggets, but they're not the Lakers.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:55 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

what is their alternative? If they don't get something done, they'll lose everything at the end of the season. Going after Bynum makes sense because it leaves the Nuggets with extra cash in order to acquire a free agent in the off-season. It also gives them a center, finally.

And, the Lakers can win a title without Bynum, they did it two yrs in a row (due to his injuries).


Equals another finals appearance and quite possible another title.

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:54 pm

Sources: Melo-Bynum talks have some traction

..............To win a championship.............Sealed

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