Posted on: December 11, 2010 5:27 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 5:28 pm
With Melo "thinking" about the Nuggets' extension offer, could the CBA pressures of a lockout be forcing Anthony to consider staying in Denver?
Posted by Matt Moore
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Carmelo Anthony has told told Nuggets management that he's "thinking" about signing their long-term extension which would keep him in Denver for the majority of the remainder of his career. It's a striking change in direction from Melo's behavior and statements over the past six months, all of which has led him away from Denver and towards the bright lights of another, bigger market.
So with that in mind, why the change in heart? Melo maintains that this has been his approach the whole way through, but multiple reports have indicated he was most likely done in Denver. So what has pushed him back towards the shade of the Rockies?
There are multiple options. The struggles of the Miami Heat have to be considered, even as the Heat start to get together. The fact that a deal with New York, his preferred destination, is unlikely even if they manage to get a first rounder in return for Anthony Randolph probably has to dishearten him from the idea of moving. The fact that the New Jersey Nets are locked into Newark, NJ for two years instead of Brooklyn, and that they look so far away from contending has to factor in, as they are the most likely destination for a trade at this point. But the biggest reason is probably relatively simple.
Since this whole bizarre non-standoff-standoff started, the CBA talks have only headed faster towards a lockout brick wall. The owners won't even respond to the Union's latest proposal. A lockout is 99% probably according to Union head Billy Hunter. And considering the drastic changes being presented by the owners' contingent, big changes could be in place before Melo could sign a new deal. With that in mind, Anthony could be thinking he simply needs to go ahead and commit to the deal to get in place.
KB also clued us in recently that the owners are seeking rollbacks to current contracts . That would mean that any deal Melo signs now could be revamped to something lower in total dollar amount. But that's an issue of contention and there's at least a reasonable chance the union could fight off that attempt. So signing the extension now rather than carrying out his threat of not signing without a trade and risking a significant loss in salary.
A source told Berger in October that Melo wasn't afraid to test the new CBA . It could be that the way the talks have gone have Melo convinced the smart play is to at least heavily consider getting his deal locked in now.
But of course, that's conjecture. The facts still remain that Melo has not signed the extension, nor has he given any indication that he intends to, only that he'll think about it. And in the meantime, he's put more pressure on teams interested in him to up the ante on their offers. The disclosure is good news for Denver, but doesn't get them out of the woods. They still have to win games this year, convince Melo they have a plan to win in the future, and get his name on the dotted line.
This thing's far from over, but at least Denver has reason to feel more positive about their odds of avoiding a long-term rebuilding project.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:25 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 1:27 am
Melo's on the market. But has MSG got something too good going to disrupt in order to pull him to the Big Apple? The answer lies with the man called STAT.
Posted by Matt Moore
Back in July ... you remember the NBA back in July, don't you ? It was a sweeter, purer time in July, 2010 BD (Before Decision) ... Anyway, back in July, Amar'e Stoudemire was talking about convincing Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony to join him in New York, before he'd even joined the Knicks.
Since then, there has been constant talk of Anthony trying to get his way to New York, by trade, free agency, whatever it takes. Those efforts have been rebuffed by the Nuggets at every turn due to New York having no assets to interest Melo. Even with Ken Berger's report that the Nuggets are finally willing to go ahead and move Melo, they're not nearly desperate enough to work a deal with the Knicks. But right now, the question should not be can the Knicks get Melo. The question might be, do they need to?
The Knicks beat the Raptors 113-110 Wednesday night, for their sixth win in a row, and ninth out of ten. They are, quite simply, en fuego. It's at least the first real version of the vision Mike D'Antoni has had for the future of the Knicks. And at the helm is most definitely Amar'e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire had his sixth 30-point-plus game in a row, this time with 18 fourth-quarter points. He had everything going. The quick finds underneath the basket, the pump-fake and dunk, the mid-range elbow J, the little middle-key leaner he likes, the works. And he's had it going for games. What Stoudemire brings to the Knicks goes well beyond just the numbers. This was something that was sorely overlooked in the comparisons between Stoudemire and Bosh. Stoudemire has the unique ability to completely take over the game. You can simply give him the ball and say "go get us a bucket" in crunch time and rely on him to do so. The fact that he so often does it with such emphatic style only heightens the value and makes him that much more of a perfect fit for the New York state of mind. With his production this season, he's slammed the coffin shut on the idea that he needed Steve Nash to be great. Then he dunked on it.
The Knicks don't really have a signature win in this stretch (with New Orleans bottoming out), but at 14-9, that's still much better than anyone had anticipated, especially after their horrendous start.
So the question, then, is would trading for Melo be a good idea with how well this Knicks team, and in particular, Amar'e Stoudemire, is playing?
It seems pretty simple, right? Carmelo Anthony is better than Gallinari, Fields, Randolph, Chandler, anyone that would be sent out in the deal. It gives you a bonafide scoring star to pair with Stoudemire. It's got to be pretty easy.
Except when you consider usage. And for that, naturally, we return to the Miami Heat as always. The biggest problem with the Heat, at least early on, was their two starts kept deferring with the ball in order to not take up too many shots. Stoudemire and Melo may not have that problem, but the expectation that they would both want the ball so much might lead them in that direction. Furthermore, when you examine Mike D'Antoni's system, it doesn't lend itself to the same kind of ISO wing systems that Melo flourishes in. Even Stoudemire rarely is simply given the ball to work with. It flows through him while the offense continues to move. Melo is a stopping point.
You've also got to look at the weaknesses on the Knicks and wonder if Melo helps them in those areas. He's not an elite rebounder. He doesn't work brilliantly in the pick and roll. He's not a hustle player. And he's certainly not a great defensive player. Adding Melo would be taking a bunch of mid-level players, taking their best ability without adding anything (and taking away Fields' defense which has been surprisingly good).
All of this is besides the fact that Stoudemire certainly seems to stand tall and talented enough to take over games. He has the ability to put the franchise on his shoulders, and with a versatile skilled roster, take the Knicks to the playoffs. Forcing the issue with a superstar like Melo could fracture that dynamic, which could harm the chemistry. From the start, Amar'e has been the leader in New York. With the way he's playing right now, you have to think the Knicks at least in part want to give him the reins and let him show them how far he can take the team.
Superstar power is always at a premium in this league. And as the Heat improve game by game you start to see the potential in loading up. But the Knicks have a long-term plan in mind, and you have to wonder if adding Melo, even if he were to become available to them by hook or by crook, would be the best thing for the future of the MSG kids.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 1:21 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Yesterday, there was a little nugget of rumor that dropped which included Steve Nash's name potentially being on the trade block come the deadline. It kind of seems hard to fathom the two-time MVP being moved, but in some ways, it makes sense for Phoenix.
But don't tell Suns coach Alvin Gentry that. He doesn't want to hear it. He told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic yesterday, "Steve's not going to be traded, that I can tell you. If he's traded, I'm going along with him, OK?"
I just tried to plug that in to the Trade Machine and the weird thing is, there's no place for coaches. Too bad, because I really thought my Nash and Gentry for Jameer Nelson, Marcin Gortat, cash considerations and Jeff Van Gundy was going to go through perfectly.
Gentry may say that Nash is going nowhere, but that obviously doesn't make it so. He's not the one in the front office making that call, though it does seem a little wild that Steve Nash could be moved. If the Suns completely fall apart and are in shambles in February, maybe. But as it stands now, it looks like a longshot.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:34 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 1:40 pm
Posted by Royce Young
If you asked me about star players that I thought would be on the last block to be brought up in trade rumors, Steve Nash would probably be there. But not on Ric Bucher's list. He has Nash on the top (other than Carmelo Anthony).
Bucher appeared on the NBA Today Podcast with Ryen Russillo and talked about players that could be traded. Nash was his top choice other than Anthony. Valley of the Suns transcribed Bucher's comments:
“I personally feel like I may have overestimated where they are, my belief in Nash to take any spare parts and make it work. I may have overestimated that.Keep in mind, this isn't like a real, substantiated rumor neccesarily. This is one sports person - who is plugged in, mind you - giving his thought about who would be traded. He's not saying he's got source material calling for it to happen. It's just an opinion.
Nash makes $22 million over the next two seasons and is 36 years old. He's off to a pretty fantastic start this year, averaging 18.7 ppg and 8.9 apg. Moving Nash obviously means the Suns going in to full-on rebuilding mode and start working to build behind Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic I guess. Not exactly a big-time core there.
Nash has already been somewhat vocal about the team early on, saying they aren't a playoff caliber group and almost preparing fans for a rough year. They're off to a decent start at 3-4 but if things go south and the Suns are a bundle of games under .500 at the All-Star break, they might just put dynamite to it, trade Nash and start over. I'm sure Nash would appreciate it since he's in his twilight years and doesn't want to be stuck on a lottery team and also Nash isn't in the Suns long-term future. Makes sense, pretty much.
I say Nash would be one of the last to be brought up on the trade block not because it doesn't make sense. Because it does. But because he is the Phoenix Suns. Picturing him anywhere else is kind of difficult.
Again, just a rumor and I'm the messenger. But we do know one thing - he's not retiring to become prime minister of Canada.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 7:12 am
Posted by Royce Young
It doesn't look like Joe Dumars is going to be able to pull of fhis coal-for-silver trade of Richard Hamilton for Josh Smith because Atlanta isn't dealing, but that doesn't mean the Pistons aren't out in the market right now.
The Pistons would prefer to blow up the roster and move out some of the more expensive veteran pieces they have like Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Hamilton will be difficult to deal because his age (32), plus his contract (runs through 2013). But Prince on the other hand, has a pretty enticing deal and as a guy that could contribute on a contender, is probably Detroit's best bet to make a move.
Sekou Smith of NBA.com has heard a trade rumor involving the Hawks and the Pistons, this time not involving Rip Hamilton. It's a swap involving Prince and possibly Will Bynum for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague.
An interesting deal for sure because the Hawks could certainly use a defensive-minded veteran stopper like Prince, plus his expiring contract frees them up some financially. Crawford wants a contract extension and has made that clear with a pay-me-or-trade-me demand over the summer, but the Hawks didn't budge then after getting several calls on it. So to make a move now would really just indicate that Atlanta is looking for some cap flexibility.
Plus, Mike Bibby isn't going to be around that much longer and trading a potential future point guard in Teague seems a little curious. Sure, Will Bynum is a decent piece to get back, but I don't know if he's starting material.
In the end, it's probably nothing more than a whispered rumor that won't happen, but it's clear the Pistons are at least shopping their veterans. And a likely player could definitely be the Hawks. Something to keep an eye on, at least.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:08 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Ken Berger of CBSSports .com reported last week that the Nets were separating themselves as potential frontrunners for Carmelo Anthony, quoting a source that said New Jersey is "working hardest to get a deal done."
And here's some more fuel to toss on that fire.
"They've got what the Nuggets want," one general manager told ESPN.com. "We're trying to put a package together that matches what the Nets can offer, but it's tough."
The reports coming out earlier today revealed that the Nuggets are indeed hearing out offers and are most interested in picks, cap relief and a top young talent. What is New Jersey reportedly offering? All three.
Ford said the Nets are willing to offer No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, the expiring deals of Troy Murphy and Kris Humphries plus at least one future first-round pick for Carmelo. Ken Berger mentioned Favors as potential bait in his report as well, but adding Murphy and Humphries plus a pick or two certainly sweetens the pot.
However, a source close to the Nets told ESPN.com that the Nets weren't necessarily the frontrunners for Anthony, nor were they willing to confirm what the Nets would offer. However, it was said that New Jersey was in serious contention based on Denver's reluctance to trade Anthony to a Western Conference team and the Nets' combination of expiring contracts, draft picks and a young player with talent and upside.
All of this begs the question though: Is New Jersey actually the one getting worked in this deal? Obviously, nobody knows about what Favors will be. Murphy is a quality power forward, Humphries is a throw-in and the picks are nice. While the Nets gets the prize of Carmelo, doesn't this upset the once balanced roster they had?
The Nets are trading every power forward on the roster. No seriously, they won't have a single guy that plays the 4 on the role sheet. Plus, New Jersey signed Travis Outlaw over the summer and now, he's immediately pushed to the bench. New Jersey's roster immediately becomes a mess with Anthony's addition and while they have a star, they don't have any kind of coherent symmetry remaining.
I'm not saying Denver wins this trade by any means because again, Favors may or may not be good, Murphy isn't anything more than solid and Humphries plus picks are just add-ons . And the Nuggets are still losing their star. But if New Jersey goes down this road to get Anthony, it'll require another roster restructuring. Which is something they were pretty much close to completing already.
But then again, the chances of this being the actual trade is probably pretty unlikely. But it's definitely the one Denver might be happiest with.
Posted on: September 3, 2010 11:17 am
Edited on: September 3, 2010 11:18 am
Posted by Royce Young
For anyone that thinks the Knicks are completely clueless, here's something to think otherwise. Rudy Fernandez has been lobbying to get out of Portland for months. Lobbying enough to get slapped with a $25,000 fine for it. The Knicks are on his short list of teams to be traded to and the Knicks would certainly love to have him.
And there was a deal on the table to make it happen. But Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh didn't hit the red button. According to the New York Daily News, a three-way trade sending newly acquired Anthony Randolph to Indiana, a first round pick to Portland and Fernandez to New York fell apart at Walsh's desk. Walsh evidently offered Wilson Chandler instead, but neither the Pacers nor Blazers apparently had much interest there.
The Blazers have made it clear they at least want a first round pick, something the Knicks don't have. So a third team is necessary to bring in. But the complication there is, you have to make this deal worthwhile for this third team. And Anthony Randolph would definitely be something worthwhile. I'm sure the Pacers were absolutely tickled at this deal before it felt through seeing as they desperately need a power forward.
But Walsh is smart to keep Randolph. Most agree that Randolph is one of the most uniquely talented players in the league with an absurd amount of upside. He was trapped in Golden State with Don Nelson's erratic playing time and treatment so the thinking is, out of that system and into Mike D'Antoni's, Randolph could flourish. And while the Knicks want a shooter really badly, Fernandez isn't a neccesity because of the offseason signing of Roger Mason Jr.
Fernandez's people definitely aren't done looking to move him and Blazer GM Rich Cho will certainly continue to look for a willing partner. But it doesn't look like the Knicks will be one of those teams, at least unless Anthony Randolph is not part of the deal.
Posted on: August 22, 2010 11:23 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Posted by Royce Young
For the past two weeks or so, any trade talk coming out of Denver has involved one Carmelo Anthony. But it appears one of his teammates may actually be the one to go first.
Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse reports that the Nuggets are looking to trade guard J.R. Smith, a player entering the final year of his $6 million contract. Smith has been part of trade rumors ever since he arrived in Denver from Chicago and before then, New Orleans, but mainly hung around because one of his biggest supporters was former general manager Mark Warkentein. Now that Warkentein is gone, Smith may be as well.
Smith is somewhat of a headcase player that has often had issues with coach George Karl, but it's hard to ignore his production off the bench. He's a player that can routinely explode for 25 points any given night and in 2008-09, finished second for Sixth Man of the Year. Last season he averaged 15.4 points per game, a career high. However, on the flip side Smith's field goal percentage dipped to 41.4 and he shot just 33.8 percent from 3.
The Nuggets would probably prefer to move him before the season starts, but are obviously looking to get some kind of return for Smith. He's obviously attractive to a contender as he has an expiring contract but mainly because he could make an excellent scoring piece off the bench.
While Denver has bigger problems in that the Nuggets still need a general manager to pull the string on this deal as well as the Anthony situation, Smith appears to be available.