Blog Entry

Melo leaving a familiar trail

Posted on: August 17, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 8:14 pm
As Ken Berger reports on the latest developments in Carmelo Anthony's exit strategy, a familiar pattern is forming, one that we saw played out over the past year in Cleveland.
Posted by Matt Moore's Ken Berger brought news last week that Carmelo Anthony was angling for a move to New York, that the situation was (according to a close source to him), "perfect for him." Now ESPN's Ric Bucher has echoed that report, stating that Carmelo is "likely" to go , and that it is a question of when, not if, Anthony will depart the Nuggets. Denver fans are holding themselves to the same mantra we heard from Raptors fans last summer and Cleveland fans as recently as June, that no reports can be trusted and that their star player can't find a better situation than the one he's in now.

But the situation is gaining steam , not dying down. The Denver Post reports today that the Nuggets are starting to evaluate options in parting ways with Melo and getting some level of return. And it would appear those avenues are starting to open and become more varied as well.

Today KB reports the following to the F&R Blog via email in the evolving Melo-camp discussions:

Anthony's hesitation to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets goes beyond his desire to enjoy the major-market exposure and pressure that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade turned down this summer. Melo would accept other destinations as well, and the Magic are believed to be at the top of his list along with the Knicks, according to a person familiar with his strategy.

The exit strategy began taking shape last week, while Anthony was in New York for Nike's World Basketball Festival. It was then, according to the source, that Nuggets management was advised to begin exploring trade possibilities for Anthony to avoid losing him as a free agent and getting nothing in return. When Denver fills its vacant GM position, the likely choice, former Suns executive David Griffin, will inherit a crisis similar to the one he endured with Amar'e Stoudemire, who left the Suns for a five-year, $99.9 million deal with the Knicks.

The short-and-long? Melo wants out of Denver, and onto a title contender, and wants it now. Not in free agency. Now. And any questions as to whether that's the case don't need to be answered by off-record sources. The evidence and a little deductive logic speaks for itself.

The most prominent response from skeptics as to if this is really Melo's desire is "Why hasn't he just said so?" And the answer is pretty simple. He already has. Just because he hasn't publicly demanded a trade, costing himself fine money and damaging his image, doesn't mean the evidence isn't right there. There's a three-year, $65 million offer from the Nuggets just waiting for him to sign it. The lack of Carmelo's signature on the dotted line isn't in and of itself a declaration that the Nuggets are off the table. But if they were what he wanted, why not just sign it? The money's there. He's been there, has friends there. It's hard to believe the Nuggets are actually holding out in offering Anthony something he wants. Whatever he's looking for, they'll oblige.

So what's he waiting for?

It's the same question I asked myself last year as Cleveland fans repeatedly told me that James had no interest in leaving. That he loved Cleveland and there was no way he would depart, would abandon them. I always walked away from these exchanges with the same question.

"Okay, then, so why hasn't he? What's he waiting for?"

A simple public statement "I look forward to finishing my career in Cleveland." Or, "We'll sit down with Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry and get to work on the deal . It may take some time, but it'll get done." He could have still entered free agency to maintain leverage to make sure he wasn't short-changed in any regard (who's going to short-change LeBron James?). All he had to do was make those kinds of public commitments and the media wouldn't have embarked on the 100-ring circus we set up. Don't put the goat in the exhibit and expect the T-Rex will stay out of sight.

And just as James never provided those kinds of assurances, always dancing around the subject, saying "We're going to go through the process" and "I love the fans in Cleveland," Anthony's embarked upon the same careful footwork. "There is no timeline" is the new "Cleveland has the edge." And the parallels don't stop there. The Cavaliers panicked when it looked like James was unhappy with Cavs management over their ability to build a roster around him, and fired head coach Mike Brown and came to a separation with Danny Ferry. Sound familiar? Denver dropped both Mark Warkentian and Rex Chapman, both of whom were held in high regard in NBA circles.

Oh, and who is Anthony's agent again?

Oh, that's right. Leon Rose. LeBron's agent and representative for CAA, which also employs William Wesley. If we were in the Matrix, the cat would have walked by twice by now and asked for the Nuggets to fly to New York to pitch Anthony using PowerPoint.

I'm not the first to say there's smoke in regards to this here fire. Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post laid out the remaining circumstantial evidence , including Anthony's sale of a Colorado estate and his East Coast upbringing (though Anthony was raised in Baltimore, he was born in New York; you're going to be hearing that fact about seven hundred zillion more times in the foreseeable future). But there's one more factor that seems to tie this whole mess of speculation and prediction together.

The discussion has been hard and heavy that Anthony's torn between the allure of a new team in free agency and wanting the financial security provided under this (presumably more player-favorable) CBA agreement. The idea was simple. Anthony wants the money, first and foremost, and for that he needs to stay in Denver. But that's only if he enters free agency. If Anthony were to be traded to a new team, that team could then extend him under the current CBA. And that feeds into the last connection between Anthony and the Miami Triad. The allure of getting everything you want, how you want it. With a trade, Anthony can find himself in a new location in title contention, and get the extension he wants. It's the best of all worlds.

The age of players having to simply accept their respective situations may be ending. If Carmelo Anthony can find a way to escape to a major market, joining a top team to contend and get the financial security of the current CBA, we'll have seen the latest manifest of the players' power in the modern NBA.

It's Denver's move. And how the next six months play out could speak volumes as to the fate of their franchise. It will also reaffirm the impact of what went on this summer in free agency, and how the landscape has changed.

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Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 3:48 pm

Melo leaving a familiar trail

I agree with destiny_driven.  This is the only time that the Nuggets can get a substantial return from Melo, because as time goes on, the team will need to trade him more & more because he obviously wants out.  SIGN THE NETS DEAL & MOVE ON!

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 1:12 pm

Melo leaving a familiar trail

I hate to see this, and the Biggest Loser in the end will be Carmelo Anthony.    He'll get the millions either way, but after this career there's more a legacy of what you did for the team rather then what they paid you .... I see guys like John Elway who stuck with Denver until it paid off, and "yes" it took patience nad Terrell Davis and Shannon Shargpe, etc.

There's only one basketball ... who's going to control when and how often it gets shot, and who does the shooting?   With all the egos on the court wearing the same jerseys, and the quest to be a Dream Team, have these guys ever considered how the individual stats are going to suffer once they share the rock with 2 or 3 guys that carry the same over inflated ego that they do ???

Without the individual stats, these guys risk being passed over for first-team All-Stars, and if they don;t deliver a championship they'll be seen as Failures.    Remember the Olympic Dream Team that struggled for a Broonze?   Yes, teams the play well together can and do compete against superior talent, and sometimes they even win.

There's just a lot at risk by jumping ship, shooting for a dream team in a big and unforgiving market like New York schity, I mean city.

Since: Oct 29, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 11:16 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail


Think about it, he wants to go to a talented team in New York where he will be a global super star that can compete for a championship in the next few years and he wants a massive contract with tons of money. The Nets, moving to New York soon, with Jay-Z, one of the most famous men on earth, and a young, talented roster that will be good sooner than later, a coach knows whats up, and a billionaire to write him checks....

Ples the Nuggets can get Brook Lopez and solve our big man problem.

Since: Aug 19, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2010 11:00 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail

Melo is a great player, he does not get the credit that LBJ and Wade get's but he is one of the top 5 players in the league and that is why you trade him now. The team that has the best package to offer is the team you send him to. This league is like a fraternal order, and the players are friend's, the players know that it is almost impossible for  teams to make trades that will bring instant championships so they have taken it upon themselves to do  what teams have difficulties in doing. I understand why you feel this way and keep him to strive towards building a championship, like Mark Cuban stated it is hard to win a championship,but he has to go, and his being traded will give other team owner's the courage that Cavs did not have. Trade Him Now!!!!!!!!

Since: Aug 19, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:45 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail

DD your absolutely correct, if anything can come good out of the LBJ incident, teams should have learned not to risk getting nothing in return when a free agent walks away. Carmelo has been offered a large sum of money and he is second guessing the team, it means it is time for him to go immediately. And he does not have to be traded to the teams he has interest in, just the best team that will give Denver a great return. The LBJ thing was so well orchestrated, his departure was inevitable and the damage that the Cavs incurred was inevitable as well. All parties involved know that the LBJ incident was so well planned that Miami had been clearing cap space for quite some time, to bring in the Chris and LBJ. At least Denver has options on who they can trade him to because when it is all said and done Melo will be going to go wherever he pleases at this season's end but no matter what happen's you have to applaud him because he is allowing the team to gain something when he is traded. Out of all the three teams on his wish list, New Jersey is the only team that has some players that can help Denver in the future. Do not wait, and pull the trigger now and your fans will appreciate you for that.

Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2010 5:36 pm

Melo leaving a familiar trail

This is why the NBA is a joke and the NFL is the #1 league. Most of the teams can't keep their own players. and only a few teams have a chance. If Carmelo actually wanted to win a championship he would stay with Denver! They were in the conference finals 2 years ago and were one of the best teams in the West last year. Would you rather play with Billups, Nene, JR Smith, Kenyon Martin or that slop they have in NY? Also, he can make the most money there. I hope they trade him and he bnlows out his knee!  

Since: Aug 6, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2010 4:20 pm

Melo leaving a familiar trail

In all this, Carlos Boozer is somewhere smiling knowing he's no longer the most hated man in Cleveland. Cool

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:35 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail

This, just like James, is a line of bull.  They want a championship, it's not hte money, they want commitment form the team, they want, they want, what about giving some commitment to the team and the fans?  Three years, $65mil, that's not commitment?  You made the playoffs last year and the Knicks last made the play offs WHEN???? So you think you and AS can turn the Knicks around into not just a playoff team but a championship team in what, one, two, three years.  And lets not forget the money you'll demand in this trade too.  But it's not the money, its the Ring that you two jerks will bring to NY.  Trade the bum and pray with everything you have that no one is interested.

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:54 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail

YOU'RE RIGHT.   Melo needs to be moved while Denver can get some value.    But, seriously, I just don't get it .... why would Stoudamire and Anthony believe that their somehwat-similar styles would compete for a Championship?

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol COMPLIMENT each other ... Bosch and Wade do as well ... but Carmelo and Amare Stoudamire simply play similar spots on the court, with some differences, don't get me wrong ... Shooting Forward is still the tag.  

And another thought ... isn't MIAMI in the EAST and woldn't only Miami OR the Knicks go to the NBA Chapionship?   Seems like being the #2 or #3 team in teh WEST with Denver is just as olikely he sees the FINALS as if he thinks going to the Knicks can get him past MIAMI.  

If Melo goes to the Knicks, he is one the #3 team AT BEST in the East.

I think if Denver got Dirk Nowitski, kept Melo, they'd be a contender more easily then if Mleo tries his wares in New York.

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:27 am

Melo leaving a familiar trail

I like Melo as a scorer (though he travels a lot) and as someone who can defend when he has too (Lakers - Nuggets 2009). But he is a star of his generation, so he is likely to follow in the footsteps of his peers and leave for what he thinks best, after giving a plethora of platitudes ( 'for my future and family', 'see how it pans out' etc) to the press and the fans who love him.I agree with you in that they should trade him now. When I say now, I mean NOW. Before they even establish a management team. That will allow the new management team to start with a decent team and a solid direction of rebuilding. The last thing they should be trying to do is hang onto him by further shaping the franchise around him, appointing Warkentians replacement to suck up and bend over, only to not make it to the title series, lose their franchise player and fire they management again.I too think it smells of "the decision". I believe that the Nuggets and the Nicks will end up like the Cavs and the Nicks. I don't think that NY is the right place in terms of what they can offer Denver. Denver would be better looking at the Lakers. I know it brakes with the rule of trading within your conference, but they may be able to get something to improve themselves over the remaining Billups years rather than wasting it on the draft picks they can use post the peak oil crisis or the projects that are prone to injury that NY could offer.

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