According to people in contact with the Nuggets’ management team, there is far more clarity today about what the team is seeking in a potential Anthony trade than there was in September, when new GM Masai Ujiri was thrust into the tempest in his initial days and weeks on the job. Executives believe the Nuggets have decided they would like to receive the best possible package of young players and are not interested in stopgap options that would hamper their flexibility. Acquiring a high-priced veteran player -- such as Andre Iguodala, whose talent the Nuggets value but not his contract -- would only hurt the team’s ability to build around youth while maintaining payroll flexibility into the uncertainty of a new collective bargaining agreement.
The Nets’ package of 2010 No. 4 pick Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris, the expiring contract of Kris Humphries and two first-round picks remains the most attractive option to the Nuggets, sources say. Additional trade partners such as Charlotte and Utah are not eager to get involved in the discussions again, but wouldn’t necessarily be needed this time.If that offer is on the table, there should be absolutely no hesitation on Denver's part. Two solid starting pieces paid reasonable salaries, plus picks, plus a measure of financial flexibility heading into a potential lockout? If you're Denver, what more could you possibly want and reasonably expect? Pull the trigger before the Nets realize Anthony isn't actually that good. The next step would be to move veteran point guard Chauncey Billups in a similar fashion, and the future would be upon the Nuggets far more quickly that they could have hoped. One needs look no further than the mess in Cleveland for added motivation to go through with trading Anthony. A coach who wonders whether his players are listening. Players who lay down and get punked by James in his return to Cleveland. All sorts of mismatched, expensive roster pieces that no longer fit together after the centerpiece is gone. A lack of young talent, save forward J.J. Hickson, to provide an element of excitement and hope to a starving fanbase. Denver: you really, really, really do not want to be Cleveland. Move Anthony, and ensure your future is brighter.