Tag:trades
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:52 am
 

Trade Deadline: Landry to Hornets for Thornton

Hornets trade Marcus Thornton to Kings for Carl Landry. We're not sure why.
Posted by Matt Moore

Multiple sources including NBA FanHouse and Yahoo! Sports are reporting that the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Hornets have agreed to a trade which would send Carl Landry to the Hornets in exchange for Marcus Thornton and cash. The deal is expected to be completed tomorrow.

We expected the Hornets to be active. And we expected them to look for frontcourt help. But Carl Landry? It's not that Landry's not a good player, he certainly was for Houston. He's got good touch around the basket and great effort. But he's also the 14th worst power forward in defensive rebound rate and the worst power forward at the same stat among players averaging 25 minutes per game. It's entirely possible that he'll explode next to Chris Paul, but what good power forward doesn't? The numbers aren't positive, however. 

Landry has averaged a 34% FG percentage in the pick and roll this season according to Synergy Sports. He shoots 49.6% out of the post, which is nice, but he also turns the ball over an astonishing 17.5% of the time there. Defensively, he hasn't been bad this season, but he's also struggled with a number of things, most notably in the post. He's surrendering a 50% FG percentage in the post this season, which is in the 25th percentile of the league. Not exactly great. 

Thornton is a bit more complicated. He hasn't gotten nearly as many minutes as Landry this year, as Monty Williams has not been impressed with him. But he's been effective at both ends of the floor for the Hornets, and should work well in Sacramento off the bench. He's been particularly good against the pick and roll defensively, although in a limited sample size. 

Thornton, though, holds the potential to be an explosive scorer.  He can really fill it up, hence the nickname, "Buckets." He's also the kind of player fans irrationally attach themselves to, so Sacramento's got that going for them. But the Hornets? They're basically hoping Landry becomes a defensive stalwart suddenly and keeps up his ability on the offensive glass while improving his defensive rebounding. Maybe working next to Emeka Okafor will bring out his best, but it's a stretch. Bodies matter for the playoffs, and Jason Smith is terrible, but when it comes down to it, the Hornets have gambled heavily here. 

The Hornets took a dive headed into the All-Star break, but more concering is their trade history, adding Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza, and Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton, Jerryd Bayless, and Darren Collison. If the end result is a long playoff push, great. If not? There will be some questions in the Big Easy.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:31 am
 

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

The Nuggets flirted with danger but wound up trading Melo for a good set of assets. The Melo era is over in Denver. 
Posted by Matt Moore

This was not the best run trade negotiation period in history.  The Nuggets repeatedly pushed for too much, and then when they somehow miraculously got offered that much, they pushed again. Masai Ujiri played Russian Roullette with this trade but in the end, it wasn't Carmelo Anthony, or Donnie Walsh, or Leon Rose, who hit the Magic chamber. It was Isiah Thomas loading it six chambers full. As usual. 

The Denver Nuggets now have a completely different team than the one they entered the All-Star break with.  The odds of the roster as it stands currently being the one after the trade deadline are also very low. The Nuggets are currently in-between transitions, able to compete for the playoffs but with no true star, they're likely stumped once the first round hits. They have their point guard of the future (Ty Lawson) and now Raymond Felton complicates that. They have talented combination forwards, and just added more. They have aging veterans and now have young pieces. They're probably going to make the playoffs but probably won't get very far. They're rebuilding but trying to win now. They're in two very different places at the same time. 

But really, this was the best circumstance they could have hoped for once their last ditch effort to get Mikhail Prokhorov to convince Anthony to come to the Nets was proven to be what we always knew it would be: a fantasy. Yes, getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy's expiring and four first-rounders would have been ideal, but it simply wasn't to be with Anthony holding all the cards.  Somewhere, in the back of Denver's mind was the image of the Cavaliers walking off the floor after losing that 25th game. So it was the Knicks, as we knew all along it would be, really. And for it being the Knicks? They got a whale of a deal. They walked off with four players who have started at some point for the Knicks, including their quality free agent point guard, the young super-long shooter, and the high-upside foreign center prospect. They nab a first rounder down the line, multiple second-round picks, and clear a bunch of cap space, especially if they decide to move some of the other pieces. 

We could have had this over months ago, but Masai Ujiri walks out a winner with this. He landed a good set of assets, draft picks, and cap space to move forward while also not crippling his roster out of a playoff spot. This is a win-win-lose for Ujiri. He got a significant amount of assets without being forced to commit to an immediate tanking scheme, but he still lost a superstar. 

And that's the big thing to remember here. If Carmelo Anthony were to have a crisis of conscience, call up Ujiri, and say "I want to stay. I'll sign the extension," Melo would still be in uniform tomorrow for the Nuggets like he said he would be. Because four good players an a pick is great, but you'll always take the All-Star. That's why they're All-Stars. 

But beyond that, this was their All-Star. Thats what will get lost in all this. Tomorrow thousands of kids with Melo jerseys will wake up in Denver owning throwbacks. Fans have lost their guy. The All-Star. The crown jewel. The sports hero. He was drafted there. When Joe Dumars looked over him, Denver committed to him. They put pieces in place to help him win a championship, and now they have a B- point guard, an Italian shooter, an expiring wing, and a Russian big to try and fill that whole. They can't have the title contention and rebuild. Not how it works in this league. 

So the Nuggets will have decisions to make once this season is over. Blow it up completely? Try and land anothers superstar? Commit to Lawson-Afflalo-Gallo? What do they do with Nene? These are all things that will have to be answered between now and Thursday, and then this summer under a new CBA. But for an impossible situation with very little hope, and against a formidable trade partner across the table, the Nuggets have walked away with some dignity, some value, and some hope. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded, and the franchise isn't in ruins.

"Thank God for Isiah Thomas" should be on a billboard outside the Pepsi Center. 
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:50 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:59 am
 

Melo trade: No one man should have all that power

Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick, and it's clear that he's been the one running the show from the beginning. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's over. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks along with Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter for Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov, along with the Knicks' 2014 first round pick according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.  

And for Melo? He wins. Beyond everything else, beyond the Nuggets' posturing and threats, beyong New York's cool stance which evaporated into dust, and beyond the desperate attempts by the Nets, including an embarassing crawl back into talks over All-Star Weekend, Carmelo Anthony won.  He got what he wanted, to go to a major market and play next to a star in Amar'e Stoudemire. He got it how he wanted it, under an extension to provide him with financial security under a max deal. And he got it when he wanted it, before the new CBA could be put in place, improving chances that he'll get to hold on to as much money as possible. 

It's day 236 of the Melodrama, and that's the last time we're going to use that phrase. Anthony has pulled off one of the most stunning coups by a player in recent history, and managed to only need eight months to get it done. So, good work there, Melo. Next time, throw us a bone and pull it off a little faster? Actually, we take that back. Don't ever do this to us again. Ever. Please. We're literally begging you. 

This trade represents the extension of what started this summer with "The Decision" and LeBron James and Chris Bosh being wined and dined by executives with proposals, plans, and fan initiatives. We're in a new era, and the players are running the shots. Perhaps that more than anything signifies the key clash involved in this summer's CBA talks. Anthony was able to not only demand a trade from a playoff team, but designate where he wanted to go, and have it done the season he wanted to go. 

We'll never know for sure if Anthony was willing to leave the money on the table to go to New York had he not been traded, nor will we know if he would have accepted a trade to the Nets had the Knicks not gave in and essentially offered up everything but their own children in this deal. What we know is that Melo now joins Amar'e Stoudemire, and that in and of itself is exciting, and weird. 

Carmelo Anthony has a usage rate of 32.5% of all possessions, while Amar'e has a usage of 31.7%. Those are obscene numbers for taking up possessions.  The two are going to have to now work alongside the biggest stars they have ever played with. Melo wanted to be a big star on the big stage, but let's be clear. Amar'e Stoudemire did not go to New York to be a sidekick. We'll have to see how they work alongside together and how Melo adapts to the high pace of Mike D'Antoni's system which also emphasises ball movement. This isn't going to be seamless. Yes, Melo was acquired and yes, he is the star jewel they wanted to add (one of three, it would seem). But there is a degree of concern here and all that's before we look at New York as a team

But all that's for another day. This is a big day of victory for Melo, for CAA, for Leon Rose, and the ever-expanding power of the William Wesley power base, who have just extricated an All-Star from his team and moved him to the team they wanted to move him to. You have to appreciate how Melo's handled all this, even if he started to crack at the end. He's managed not to get fined through this entire process. Think about that. All these questions, all this pressure, all this nonsense, and he managed not to get fined once for his comments. He also managed not to alienate the Nuggets into trading him somewhere he didn't want to go, and managed to secure meetings with Knicks ownership to make him feel good about the future. 

Is this a good thing? We've got Chris Paul in New Orleans, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and Deron Williams in Utah. They're all capable of being free agents in 2012. And a pattern has been set. Sure, it was annoying for Melo for a few months, and hard on his team. But in the end, Anthony got what he wanted, and gets to reap the rewards of playing in a major market and all the endorsements that go along with it. The parties, the glamor, all of it. Of course, he may have set back his ability to win a title because of what was required to get him, but he won't be blamed for that. He'll get to enjoy it, as will his wife La La Vasquez, who has wanted this for a while. 

Behind every man with an inflated sense of self worth is an ambitious woman seeking another television deal.

This is the ultimate empowerment of the athlete, to the degree of forcing teams into decisions they didn't necessarily want to make, and doing so on their terms. A dangerous precedent has been set for NBA players, where the way to win? Team up, even if it means forcing your team to walk the plank. That Denver managed to get out of this with a favorable set of assets is their good fortune, especially after the way they bungled this for six months.  But it doesn't change the fact that Denver's now rebuilding, because Anthony wanted to leave. That's it. No complicated set of initiatives, no overwrought ideas of clashing philosophies, the Nuggets weren't looking to move in a different direction. Melo got what he wanted, when he wanted it, how he wanted it. Welcome to the new NBA landscape of player power plays. 

Now we'll have to see if he's worth even a fraction of the drama (see, we told you we weren't saying it again) he's created for us. 

Welcome to New York, Carmelo. Hope you're ready, because the pressure does not end now. 

For more on our coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to New York, check out:

Ken Berger's report on the breaking deal

Royce Young discusses the impact the deal has on the Knicks. 

Ben Golliver hands out trade grades and winners & losers.
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 3:16 am
 

Melo, Nets meet with no resolution

Carmelo Anthony and agent meets with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z in Los Angeles to discuss prospective trade for Nets to acquire All-Star. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed an AP report that Carmelo Anthony and Nets majority and minority owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z met earlier Saturday night to discuss the Nets' interest in acquiring the All-Star small forward.  The meeting occurred just hours after Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson stating no meeting had taken place or was planned, and that they would have no further comment on the matter. The meeting also coincided with a renewed interest from the Knicks as owner James Dolan has become more involved in the talks, Berger reports. 

ESPN reports that the Nets meeting lasted 40 minutes and included Anthony's agent Leon Rose and advisor Bay Frazier, as well as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and GM Billy King. Melo was reportedly "noncomittal" following the meeting, and Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nets "didn't come away very confident." 

So the Nets got their meeting, and failed to hit the home run. But they're not out of it yet. Their biggest problem? James Dolan, who has become involved in the negotiations on the Knicks' side, and is offering up more and more assets to get the second superstar, threatening to damage the leverage Donnie Walsh has very carefully maintained throughout these negotiations. The Nets' biggest advantage? Their remaining ability to threaten Melo by not trading him, then taking his extension offer off the table, leaving him high and dry for the extra money entering a new CBA. 

The Nets have now offered three picks, Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for Melo in a three-way, walked away and said they were through, come back, offered the same deal plus an extra pick, said they weren't meeting with Melo, reaffirmed they weren't meeting with Melo, then met with Melo, and now they still don't have a deal. 

You've got to give it to the Russian, though. 

He's a persistent dude. 


Posted on: February 19, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 3:56 pm
 

The Troy Murphy factor in Anthony trade talks

Troy Murphy plays a surprising part in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks, and will likely be headed somewhere else soon one way or another. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Troy Murphy is not a big name in the NBA. Last season in Indiana he averaged a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He was considered a long-shot for the trade asset the Cavaliers wanted to push them over the top which ended up being Antawn Jamison, which didn't work out well and we'll leave it at that. Then he was traded to New Jersey and was supposed to be part of the Nets' ascendance out of the gutter. Instead, he suffered through injuries, then Avery Johnson essentially told the 30-year-old to take a hike. So he's been hanging out and there are quite a few teams interested in his services, as a veteran big who can actually shoot, but no one wants to pay for him in a trade when they might be able to get him in buyout.

And this, of course, leads us back to Melo. For the last 24 hours, news reports have spilled out the same news, that the nine-player trade reportedly "agreed to" with the Nets involved the Nuggets getting Troy Murphy. Except that multiple reports have stated that the Nuggets unequivocably would not take Murphy. And that falls in line with Denver's M.O. this entire time, which is that they want all the good assets, to dump salary, and take on nothing. They want everything they desire in exchange for the All-Star. Yet all this talk went around about Murphy being sent to the Nuggets, who would have less than five days to turn him around.

Now we're starting to see a potential plot-line for Murphy winding up in the Melo deal plausibly.

First off, the News-Herald in Ohio reports that the Cavaliers are offering to step in and take Murphy in order to get one of the four first-round picks the Nets are offering.  The Cavs are basically looking to be used as a "parking lot" for big expiring contracts using the LeBron James trade exception in order to clear space and get picks. Which is exactly what they should be doing. 

How ironic would it be if the Cavaliers used their trade exception created when LeBron James left them high and dry in order to help the Nuggets avoid the same fate with Carmelo Anthony? Am I the only who finds that funny? Cleveland, no? Denver, no? OK, then. 

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Warriors GM Larry Riley says they have had talks with New Jersey about Murphy, and are looking for a player or a pick. Riley emphasized that they don't have a deal in place, but they've been in the talks. 

Should the Knicks talks break down and Melo suddenly get in a room with Prokhorov and get convinced, Murphy's going to have to go somewhere other than Denver. But it certainly looks like there are candidates ready to park Murphy's contract, especially when you consider he can still produce on the floor. Even if the Melo-Nets deal falls apart, Murphy's likely to be moved in another trade, or bought out after the deadline.  His time in New Jersey is mercifully coming to a close. 
Posted on: February 19, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Trade Deadline Rumor Round-Up: Non-Melo Edition

Trade rumors abound about people other than Carmelo Anthony, including Anthony Parker, Ramon Sessions, and Nene. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Believe it or not, there are trade deadline rumors that don't involve Carmelo Anthony. I know, we're amazed, too. Here's a round-up of what's going on outside of the... ugh... I'm sorry. I can't call it Melodrama anymore. I just can't do it without getting physically ill. Anyway, trade rumors!

Celtics, Bulls vying for Anthony Parker

ESPN reports that both the Celtics and Bulls are vying for Anthony Parker, the wingman for the Cavs. Parker's not having a great season (I know, a Cavalier having a bad season, who would have thought?), but he is shooting 40% from the arc. The best thing about Parker currently is that he's a bargain deal. The Bulls or Celtics can reportedly get him for either a young big man or a draft pick. The Celtics have Semih Erden and the Bulls have Omar Asik. With the playoffs coming up, rotations are shortened and Erden and Asik are unlikely to get time (provided Joakim Noah and/or the Celtics twin O'Neals stay healthy), so they're expendable. Parker provides help where both teams need it. 

The Bulls need a longer perimeter wing to go behind Luol Deng while the Celtics are struggling with Marquis Daniels out for several weeks. Parker is a fit in both places as an athletic veteran. This is the kind of bargain deal that good teams pursue while other teams are knocking themselves out chasing after big names. 

Everybody loves Ramon

Earlier this week Ken Berger reported that the Hawks were interested in Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions. That interest is spreading like a disease, now, with Portland and the Knicks also reportedly having interest

But the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the interest is one-sided, with the Cavs not showing particular enthusiasm for moving him.  Because the one thing you know is that when you lose 25 games in a row, you don't want to switch things up. 

We've already argued that the Cavs need a total and complete firesale, and Sessions shouldn't be exempted. If they can get someone to take on another deal with him, so be it. Yes, he's a young talent, and yes, he's arguably their best player. But the Cavs' problems are so severe as to warrant whatever changes they can make without taking on long-term money. Portland is an attractive situation with veterans on expiring contracts and younger players, while the Knicks? Well, the Knicksdon't need Eddy Curry if the Melo deal falls through so they can afford to take some of the Cavs' flotsam in order to take on Sessions. But the Cavs have to reach that level first. 

Speights to the Party

Speaking of the Blazers, Berger said they'd be active, and they're in just about every rumor we've got. Including this one, which has them interested in sending young Dante Cunningham to Philadelphia for Marreese Speights. Speights is just 23, and his per-minute numbers continue to climb even as he gets fewer minutes and a smaller role in the offense now that Elton Brand has put in a better season. Perhaps most important, Speights' rebounding figures are starting to catch up with his scoring ability, while he's gotten his FG% over 50%. 

Cunningham by comparison has done a lot for the Blazers as their lone remaining healthy center (knock on wood, you knock on wood right now).  But he doesn't have the versatility Speights has and Speights' upside is still formidable. He's got a solid mid-range J, crazy athleticism, and has never had resources devoted to his development. 

But it looks like Philly is doing the most aggrivating thing teams can do, keeping a talented young player buried while also not listening to trade offers. 

Nene not looking to relocate, regardless of Melo

There's been talk of Nene possibly looking to get out of Denver should Melo walk. But Yahoo! Sports reports that family issues may keep Nene there long-term. His wife's pregnant and from Colorado. Often overlooked in players' desire to win or chase big markets or money is the impact of family. Nene may wind up being the building block the Nuggets will need him to be going forward regardless of how the Melo situation works out after all. 

Diaw the Fix-It-All (Okay, not really, but it rhymed, kind of)

Boris Diaw has an expring contract, an oversized midsection, and a versatile game, still. Yahoo! also reports that the Bobcats are looking to move Diaw (to "change their team a bit").  Diaw is undersized as a five and a four, oversized as a three, has good handle, can shoot, attack off the drive, play the post and work as a passer in the pinch-post. He just can't do any of those things exceptionally well. With a $9 million expiring, he'll be a target for teams. 
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Report: If Melo agrees, Nets deal in place

Report says a tentative Nets-Melo deal is in place, but as always, Melo still has to agree to extension which he has resisted for six months. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Bergen Record is reporting a tentative deal is in place for Carmelo Anthony to become a Net, pending Anthony's agreement to an extension -- a piece of paper that has become the most ballyhooed document outside of Congress. 

The deal is the same Ken Berger reported on Thursday evening and we discussed Thursday afternoon , reported now by the Record , ESPN , and Yahoo!. It features the Nuggets getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and Ben Uzoh, with a third team taking on Troy Murphy. No one's figured out a third team to take Murphy, so either the deal isn't as tentatively "done" as the Record  is reporting or the teams are agreeing to a deal that assumes something they can't really count on. Again, no surprises there, considering how botched this process has been from the beginning. 

So again, the ball is in Melo's court.

Berger reported early Thursday that no talks have been scheduled between Melo and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov nor with Knicks owner James Dolan. That could change between now and Thursday's media availability, for which we'll have full coverage. 

For Prokhorov to take this meeting is in and of itself revealing of his attitudes as an owner. Apparently enough was not enough. Despite Masai Ujiri playing with the Nets for up to six weeks, agreeing to deals then backtracking and wanting more, the Russian mogul is about to get in bed with Denver again, only this time he's giving up the largest collection of assets yet. It may be the best thing for his business, but you have to wonder how he'd feel about it were he to step back and realize how badly he's been jerked around so far, assuming these reports are accurate. 

Anthony, however, isn't running into this arrangement with open arms. He's having to be convinced to meet with the owner of a National Basketball Association team in a major market that's looking to build a championship around him. If he's convinced, it won't be his whole self that is convinced -- it'll simply be an understanding that this is a compromise that features two of his goals: to play in a bigger market and to get the extension before the CBA is renegotiated. 

And what will be left to help him after the Nets trade away nearly a third of their team? Billups, Vujacic, Humphries and Lopez, with Morrow, Farmar, Outlaw and Stephen Graham off the bench. GET EXCITED, NEW JERSEY. For the remaining year you have before the team bolts to Brooklyn. 

This situation is as perplexing as ever, and should it fall through, Donnie Walsh may need oxygen because he'll be laughing so hard. 



Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Melo can't have it both ways

Carmelo Anthony has been under a lot of stress with all the media attention for something he had no part in. Wait, no, he had total part in it. Nevermind. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony is starting to tick me off. 

Throughout this entire debacle, there's been little to argue with when it comes to how Anthony has conducted himself. After all, he's played to his usual standard of excellence, helped the Nuggets firmly into the playoff race, hasn't openly demanded nor discussed a trade, and has, at least on the surface, done his part to try and not let the whole circus act disrupt his team. He's not flipping out in the locker room after losses or giving out false promises to the Denver fans. He's been steady, calm, cool, and collected. 

But now? Now he's starting to buy into the machine a bit and he's getting further and further from the reality.

From the AP:

Anthony said he's ready for a resolution, even though he insists he's not fretting about what might happen as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches. 
"I know something will have to happen whether I sign the extension or whether the Nuggets move me or whatever," said Anthony, who is averaging 24.9 points per game this year. "Something is going to happen, so I try not to stress myself out about it." 
That doesn't mean he can avoid the hours upon hours of coverage devoted to one of the NBA's biggest stars. He said he can "see" all the rumors out there, no longer needing to turn on the television in his hotel room. 
"I turn on the TV, and I turn it right back off because it's always something, it's always a new team, always a rumor, always this person saying that, that person saying this," he said. "I try not to pay attention to it." 
It isn't easy. He acknowledged his thoughts keep turning to a murky future that he hopes begins to clear in a few days. But first, he'll have to get past at least one more major session with the media over the All-Star break. 
"I know they're going to be looking to talk to me. And I'm going to be in L.A. for the All-Star weekend and every media outlet is going to be there, so it's going to be a 'MeloWatch,' I guess," he said.
via Nuggets' Anthony ready for end to 'MeloWatch' - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

See, now, Melo, you've lost the sympathy card. Why? Because you tried to play it. The Knicks didn't start this. The Nuggets didn't start this. Anthony, and his handlers started this. Anthony was offered an extension early last summer by the Nuggets. If he wanted to avoid scrutiny, avoid the media asking questions, avoid the attention that comes with a trade request, then he shouldn't have made one. Sign the extension and all that goes away. He's a Nugget, their star, and he's not going anywhere. Case closed. But Anthony wanted to play somewhere else. And that's fine. He's in a position to negotiate his way out before the CBA. In fact, giving the Nuggets a heads up so they can get something of value back versus the scraps Toronto and Cleveland got this summer was actually doing them a favor. 

But there are consequences to our decisions. If Anthony wants to go to a big market where he'll get more attention and be more strongly considered as a star by the New York media, that's his choice, and he's entitled to it. But he's not entitled to have his cake and eat it too. Or, given that he wants to sign an extension, and be traded, and not have to deal with the media hounding him, he needs to realize he can't have his cake, eat it, and not have to deal with the weight gain. You can't have it both ways, Melo. You want to be a star? You want to make a trade demand? That's up to you. But the consequence is that people are going to ask you about it, because they want to know. And even though the media will get criticized for over-covering the story, it's you who started this chain of events. 

The next logical response is to say that Melo didn't publicly demand a trade, that he made it in secret. Do you really think the Denver Nuggets received a trade request from Anthony or his people and then decided to leak it? What possible incentive do they have to losing that kind of leverage. Masai Ujiri hasn't exactly handled this thing beautifully, but he hasn't bungled it like that. It was Anthony's people who leaked this, to apply pressure to Denver. And that's fine, that's the best way to get what their client wants. But again, you don't get to then play the pity card, or take your hat off to yourself, or act like you're dealing adversity this year because of it. 

Anthony lost his sister this year. That's something terribly rough to deal with. He came back and played like an All-Star. He deserves to be commended for that. He's kept his head up on the floor through this losing streak and not freaked out on the team. He hasn't spouted off at the media, which, yes, can get annoying. But he also has no high ground in this conversation. 

In the muck of The Great Melo Mudfight of 2010-2011, Anthony was the first one with soil on his hands. 

(For the latest on the situation Melo himself created and doesn't want, check out Ken Berger's Post-Ups where Donnie Walsh is amused by all the Melo Panic.)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com