September 24, 2010
You know, one day Carmelo Anthony's(notes) next basketball team is a confusing mystery, the next it's a little bit clearer of a mystery. Things change fast in this crazy world of ours. As far as we knew, there were a few places 'Melo wanted to play, and a few of those places couldn't afford him even if they were still trying their darnedest to get him. But now, it's seeming more and more likely that the disgruntled Nuggets superstar is going to end up playing for the No. 3 team on his list.
The New Jersey Nets are working feverishly to acquire All-Star Carmelo Anthony and are in the construction stage of a complicated, multi-team trade, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Nothing is imminent in the next 24 hours, but Denver and New Jersey are having ongoing discussions centered on No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors(notes) and future first-round picks going back to the Nuggets. The proposed trade also would involve the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Bobcats. Under the proposal, league sources said the Nets would also send point guard Devin Harris(notes) to the Bobcats, who would move forward Boris Diaw(notes) to the Jazz, who send forward Andrei Kirilenko(notes) to the Nuggets to complete what one front-office source described as a "very complicated" deal.
There we go. Rather than "the Bulls want him" or "the Clippers are a possibility" we have some actual information about where Anthony might end up. Feels nice, I think.
As for the trade — kind of makes sense all around, as much as four team trades involving one of the league's biggest stars can make sense. From the Nuggets' standpoint, it's not a bad haul considering everyone knows Carmelo Anthony's on the market. They could do a lot worse than Andrei Kirilenko, this year's No. 3 pick and future first-rounders. I mean, they could have ended up with James Johnson(notes). The Nets get the star that Mikhail Prokhorov so badly wants, and I'd argue that Carmelo fits in better with Jay-Z than LeBron James(notes) would have. Adding Anthony to the team they have assembled is definitely better than last year's 12-win campaign.
For the minor players in the deal — the Jazz would get Boris Diaw, who would probably fit very well in Jerry Sloan's flex offense and they'll shed millions off their cap number. The Bobcats get Devin Harris, who is probably better than most people think, and certainly better than D.J. Augustin(notes). Plus, with Tyrus Thomas(notes) signed to an expensive extension, Diaw is kind of expendable.
The deal hinges on whether or not 'Melo will sign an extension. If he doesn't, the Nets don't want to do this, which is exactly the right thinking. I'm not quite sure who would choose to stick around New Jersey, but it is close to New York and signing a deal now means not getting docked any pay when (if) the new collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon. Newark get the money.
At the very least, there is one definite positive if 'Melo does end up in New Jersey — all he'll need to do to fit in with his new teammates is cross off the U-G-G on all of his clothes. That might be reason enough for him to sign an extension.