October 21, 2010
The season is just a few days away, his leverage in forcing a trade is slipping by the second, and Carmelo Anthony(notes) is getting desperate. How desperate? He's going through Spike Lee to try and convince Lee's beloved Knicks to pull out all the stops in attempting to acquire the disgruntled Denver Nugget in a trade.
According to a source familiar with the situation, [New York Knicks GM Donnie] Walsh has been motivated by information from Lee, a Knicks season-ticket-holder, that Anthony's first choice is far and away the Knicks. According to the source, Anthony has had several conversations in recent weeks with Lee, who has in turn informed Knicks brass of Anthony's feelings.
"Carmelo definitely, 100 percent wants to be a Knick," the source said.
Lee does not work for the organization, so the talks are not considered tampering.
Shall we revisit this soap opera, one more time?
Carmelo doesn't want to be a Denver Nugget anymore. Inspired by the oh-so-inspirational superstar triptych down in Miami, Anthony wants to move on to New York (or, failing that, New Jersey or Chicago) to try and play with some stars of his own choosing.
He doesn't want to be traded to a gutted team, though, as a result of the trade pieces needed to convince Denver to swap. And he doesn't want to play out the final year of his contract with the Nuggets (or any other team) and then jump to the Knicks (or any other team) as a free agent. He'd prefer to move, now.
He would also like to sign a contract extension, if you wouldn't mind, before the NBA endures a lockout next summer that will likely cut down Anthony's earning potential by quite a bit. He would prefer the three-year, $65 million extension the Nuggets have offered him. Except, coming from another team. Hopefully the Knicks. Or Nets. Or Bulls. Not the Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony wants quite a bit, which is why nothing's getting down. They've come up with clichés regarding this very situation. Something about having your cake, eating it too, and getting to ply your trade with your C-level celebrity wife in a bigger media market.
The problem is that the Nuggets, having already offered Anthony $65 million worth of cake, are under no obligation to make him the happiest boy in the city that never sleeps. Or the city that works. Or the city I'd be scared to sleep in (because of the bed bugs).
Trading Anthony to New York for Eddy Curry's(notes) expiring contract would offer Denver the same sort of savings they'd take on should they just let Anthony's contract lapse by itself next summer, and they're far from smitten with the prospects New York might be offering: Danilo Gallinari(notes) and/or Anthony Randolph(notes).
And that's assuming New York would trade two potential starters (should Randolph ever get his game together) for Anthony. Which is why Carmelo reportedly reached out to Spike Lee, who doesn't work for the team, but has bought a lot of tickets to see them since the afternoon of the draft lottery that allowed New York a chance to select Patrick Ewing back in 1985.
At some point ... no, we're there already. This has gotten sad.