Trading Carmelo Anthony

When reports surfaced that Chris Paul was going to demand a trade Ryan Schwan at Hornets 247 solicited offers from the TrueHoop Network of bloggers to see what kind of a haul the Hornets could hope to receive for Paul.

With similar rumors floating around regarding the future of Carmelo Anthony, I thought it would be interesting, educational and kind of fun in a morbid way to see what kind of value Carmelo possessed in the eyes of the network.

Below are trades that were sent to me from my TrueHoop network colleagues. I asked them to consider the potential for Carmelo remaining with their team after the season and consider that when crafting their proposals.

The offers are in and I have broken them down into the categories of “Win Now,” “Win Later,” “The Chosen Ones” and trades I had hoped to see ranked in order from don’t call us, we’ll call you to ummm, that’s nice!

Win now:

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion

Denver Receives: Joe Johnson

Comment from Bret: Could not be consummated until December 15.

Joe Johnson is a fine player and under the circumstances based on talent alone he is not a terrible return for Carmelo. However, once you factor in his brand spanking new max contract this trade would probably cause me to lose the handful of marbles I have left. I will pass on this offer and do so with gusto.

Del, WarriorsWorld

Denver Receives: Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis

The Warriors would love to unload these two contracts and with the reality Carmelo would be a one year renal, why would they offer anything else. While the talent is there, the fit and financial benefit is not. The Nuggets taking on almost $3 million in salary this season and both contracts have four more seasons on them. Thanks, but no thanks.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm and a multitude of other blogs

Denver Receives: Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and a first round pick plus some under the table benefits (yes, Matt promised brownies and who does not like brownies?)

This trade would be very difficult to complete based on Rudy Gay’s Base Year Compensation status. There would probably have to be a third team involved. The fact that it is not a legal transaction is fine with me, I am sure Matt makes some killer brownies, but they would have to be pretty darn good to convince me to take on Gay’s new deal. However, at least Gay is young enough that there is hope for improvement. Plus he is a swingman who could step in and score right away which would lessen the blow of losing Carmelo.

Kyle Weide, Truth About It

Denver Receives: Gilbert Arenas, Andre Blatch and two first round picks

This trade would require the Nuggets to take on an additional $4 million in salary and the requisite luxury tax payment to match. Arenas and Blatche are both very talented, but obviously there are issues outside their abilities on the court that make this deal unpalatable. Plus Gilbert’s massive contract would prove to be an anchor at the very time the Nuggets are about to get out from under Kenyon Martin’s massive deal. The draft picks are a nice sweetener as the 2011 pick could hold some value if John Wall proves to struggle in his rookie campaign.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion

Denver Receives: Josh Smith and Marvin Williams

Comment from Bret: Right now, the best the Hawks could offer for Anthony would be Josh Smith and Marvin Williams. Feel free to disabuse me of the notion that that’s a pretty good offer for the Nuggets. Even though Anthony would mitigate the lack of a backup 3, I’m not convinced it would drastically improve the Hawks (much as I like Zaza Pachulia as the third big man in the rotation, he shouldn’t be asked to play 30 or 35 minutes a night) in the short term. In future years, perhaps prolonged, immediate exposure to Josh Powell or Jason Collins in the rotation might convince the front office/ownership of the value of filling out the roster with guys who can play basketball.

Bret does better with this offer than his offering of Joe Johnson. Josh Smith is a very talented player and I could get behind seeing him in Denver, but ultimately the four years and over $30 million owed to Williams is a difficult pill to swallow.

Brett Hainline, Queen City Hoops

Denver Receives: Gerald Wallace, Dampier, two future first round picks (probably not until 2014)

Comment from Brett: Since I can’t try any permutations of this in the trade machine until Dampier is eligible to included in multi-player deals again (hurry up mid-September), I’m not going to try and match salaries.  Further blocking the Cats from consideration – I don’t really see any horrible contracts for the Nuggets to foist onto them as part of a deal – long term deals that overpay players are a requirement for the Cats in any trade.

I fiddled with this deal a little bit, but Brett did offer Wallace, Dampier, Mohammed and a first round pick of two for Melo and whoever else made the salaries work. A triumvirate of Dampier, Mohammed and Wallace adds up to just over $30 million. While the additional salary cap relief from Mohammed’s expiring $6.8 million deal is nice, the Nuggets do not have the contracts to make it work. Considering this would be a win now trade for the Nuggets with Wallace stepping into Carmelo’s spot it would not make sense for the Nuggets to try to dump a contract such as Birdman’s in exchange for Mohammed’s expiring deal.

Wallace is a great defender and it would be interesting to see how adding a key cog from the team that finished tied for first in the NBA in defensive efficiency could help Denver focus a little more effort and intensity on that end of the court. Add in Dampier’s non-guaranteed contract and the Nuggets get a quality swingman and financial relief to boot. Add in the first round picks and I believe this is the best of the “Win Now” options for the Nuggets. The problem is Charlotte is not exactly the big market Carmelo is looking for and despite the fact the Bobcats’ owner is the man whose name adorns Carmelo’s line of sneakers I doubt Melo would agree to sign there long term and as a result I also doubt the Bobcats would offer Wallace in exchange for one year of Carmelo.

Win Later:

Carey Smith, Philadunkia

Denver Receives: Lou Williams, Thad Young, Andres Nocioni and Willie Green

The 76ers are not on Melo’s theoretical list so why would the Sixers give up anything for him? Either that or Carey really does not like Carmelo.

Ryan Schwan, Hornets 247

Denver Receives: Darius Songaila, Peja Stojakoic, Marcus Thornton

Comment from Ryan: [Thornton is included] provided he [Melo] does an extend-and-trade.  If no extension, Thornton is replaced in the deal by next year’s 1st round pick.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take care of all the blood pouring from my fingertips after putting Thornton into a trade offer.

This trade gives the Nuggets some significant cap relief and a young offensive minded shooting guard who could make a nice duo with Arron Afflalo, that is not much to hang out hats on though. At least Melo gets to play with his buddy Chris Paul.

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

Denver Receives: Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Austin Daye and a lottery protected first round pick

Prince is a decent player, but I am not sure how Stuckey would fit in Denver and Daye is a long way from contributing. If the first round pick was not lottery protected this trade would be more appealing, but it is difficult to fault Dan for not making a better offer when there is no chance Carmelo stays in Detroit after this season.

Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksetball

Denver Receives: Michal Redd, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and a first round pick

From a talent standpoint, this is a very good trade. I really like Ilyasova and Larry Sanders is a very good prospect as well. The problem is Denver would have to take on over $5 million in salary as well as an equal amount in luxury tax. In order for this deal to be palatable I would have to add Birdman make the salaries match and that is not a good reason to haphazardly insert a talented player into a trade.

DJ Foster, ClipperBlog

Denver Receives: Tayshaun Prince, DeAndre Jordan, Austin Daye and unprotected Minnesota first round pick via Los Angeles

Comment from D.J.: Might be a tough sell for Detroit, but I think the Nuggets would listen. The Pistons would also receive a second round pick from the Clippers.

This is a more complex and more enticing version of Dan’s proposal above. The Nuggets get Prince and Daye, plus a solid young big in DeAndre Jordan, but the kicker is that unprotected first rounder from Minnesota. Boy would I like to get a hold of something that the value is directly proportional to the incompetence of David Kahn.

D.J. Forster, ClipperBlog

Denver Receives: Gerald Wallace, DeAndre Jordan, Nazr Mohammed, Minnesota pick

Comment from D.J.: I think Charlotte does it (they desperately need a center and a scorer and Larry Brown wants a veteran point guard) and I think Denver does it because Gerald Wallace is freaking awesome and that Minnesota pick is going to be a good one. Nazr is just another expiring deal to free up some more cash as well.

Of course none of this really matters, because Carmelo isn’t agreeing to a long-term deal if he knows he’s getting shipped to the Clippers. But it was fun anyway.

I never would have guessed heading into this little exercise I would be enticed by Gerald Wallace. This should probably qualify under the win now tag as Wallace is involved, but the fact that the aforementioned T-Wolves is involved sets the Nuggets up nicely for both the present and future. Of course D.J. has to spoil our fun with a reality check about Melo running from the Clippers like a chaste young lady would flee the bloggers of the TrueHoop Network.

Win Never:

This trade deserves its very own category.

Carey Smith, Philadunkia

Denver Receives: Elton Brand

Yes Carey expects scoffing and laughter at this unfulfilling idea and I am not going to waste my time whipping up a trade machine image for it.

The Chosen Few:

All of those offers were a mere prelude to the main course. Carmelo is rumored to be interested in Houston, Orlando, New Jersey and New York. It is highly unlikely any team that is not guaranteed Carmelo will sign an extension will top an offer by these four teams. There are some very intriguing possibilities

Eddy Rivera, MagicBasketball

Comment from Eddy: The Magic would be willing to trade anyone not named Dwight Howard. Strictly from an assets perspective, I think Orlando would be able to give the Nuggets a variety of trade packages depending on what they’re looking for in return. At this point, Otis Smith and the rest of the organization is “all-in” when it comes to a trade of this magnitude.

Nice! A blank check! I like it. Orlando cannot deliver the Nuggets a talented young blue chip prospect or high draft picks so the deal would have to deliver future financial flexibility along with not sacrificing the 2010-11 season. Here is what I came up with:

Denver Receives: Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Daniel Orton, Mickeal Pietrus, a first round pick and $2 million

Denver is giving up quite a bit in this deal, and for all his faults it pains me to include J.R. in this trade, but it manages to at least help the team remain relevant with Carter theoretically able to help fill 80% of what Melo did offensively. Birdman moves on, but I like the pairing of Gortat and Nene with Orton providing some potential for the future.

It also sets them up to have plenty of financial flexibility heading into the new CBA. The contract of the French Michael Jordan, more commonly known as Mickael Pietrus,expires after the upcoming season and Carter can be bought out for less than $4 million prior to 2011-12.

As much as this trade seems to make sense, it does not make the Nuggets better for this season, nor does it set them up with assets to help rebuild in the future. Gortat is solid, but brings a hefty price tag for a player who has yet to play 20 minutes a game in his career. The Nuggets would probably be better off hanging on to Melo and getting what they could for a sign and trade when he leaves.  I wold have liked to put Ryan Anderson into the deal, but I know how much Orlando loves him although swapping him for Orton would allow the Magic to have a back up center.

Sebastian Pruiti, Nets are Scorching, NBA Playbook

Denver Receives: Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, Kris Humphries, two first round picks and $3 million

Comment from Sebastian: The only real untouchable is Brook Lopez, so the Nets send over their next best player and their best upside guy to get Carmelo.  I know the Nuggets already have 2 good PGs, but Harris would have to be included in any deal to make the contracts match up.  Getting Harris would allow for the Nuggets to get a younger, cheaper PG and deal Billups to a team for even more assets.  In Terrence Williams, the Nuggets have a guy who can become a very good player in the league.  From what I have heard, other teams are more interested in him than the Nets are (not really an Avery guy).

The Nuggets have no need for Harris and with Melo leaving town I think Chauncey would soon follow as he deserves to be sent to a team planning on competing. The presence of Harris would just give the Nuggets another point guard they would have to trade. I would not expect the team to keep Harris and start him over Lawson when Lawson is a pure point guard, cheaper and younger.

The two first round picks are nice though as the Nets could certainly struggle again without a solid option at the point. Still, Melo, Brooke Lopez and Troy Murphy are quite a solid frontline and the Nets should contend for a playoff spot thus reducing the value of the draft picks. This trade neither delivers financial flexibility, a proven player who fits in with what Denver needs or picks that would be expected to end up high in the draft.

Devin Kharpertian, Nets are Scorching

Denver Receives: Tayshaun Prince, Terrence Williams, Kris Humphries, two first round picks, $3.0 million

Comment from Devin: The Nuggets get a little over $14 million in expirings between Prince and Humphries (not to mention plugging the vacant SF spot that Melo is leaving) and a young exciting player in T-Will The Pistons get the closest thing they’ve had to a real point guard since Billups, something they desperately need, for a decent price for 4 years The Nets get Melo without giving up Lopez or Favors.

This is the same trade as Sebastian proposed although it involves moving Harris to Detroit for Prince which makes more sense for Denver.

It is interesting both Devin and Sebastian both came up with roughly the same deal.

The New York Knickerbockers

Denver Receives: Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, 2014 First Round Pick and $3 million

Unfortunately, we did not get a proposal from our friends at Knickerblogger prior to press time, but we have something better, an honest to goodness rumored real trade offer. Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, 2014 first round pick and $3 million for Carmelo.

This offer has been reported as a deal the Knicks will be proposing to Denver (OK, so I added the $3.0 million on my own, but the Knicks have money to burn now that their payroll us under $100 million). Gallinari is a nice young player, but will probably never be more than a number two option on offense. He struggles to create his own shot and if he is the centerpiece of a trade for Carmelo Anthony, Denver is in trouble. Still, I find him to be a better prospect than Terrence Williams and that puts the Knicks’ offer a step ahead of either of the Nets proposals.

Rahat Huq, Red94

Shane Battier, Jarred Jeffries, Jordan Hill, the right to swap first round picks with the Knicks in 2011 and the Knicks 2012 first round pick

I took part in an extended exchange with Rahat about reports on Carmelo Antony’s interest in Houston that you should take the time to check out. I can tell you the attitude amongst most Rockets observers is that they would be willing to part with either Aaron Brooks or Kevin Martin. Both players would create logjams at their position for Denver so a three way deal might be the way to go if the Nuggets and Rockets are to come to an agreement. Plus Rahat pointed out that it might be kind of scary for a team that is known for stout defense to have Martin and Melo playing at the two swing positions.

At this point the Rockets offer blows all the other offers from “The Chosen Ones” out of the water. The Knicks picks could be valuable and as I mentioned in my conversation with Rahat, those picks are worth more if Melo is sent somewhere other than New York as it cripples their ability to add an impact free agent next season.

Trades I was waiting for that were not offered

New Jersey Nets

Denver Receives: Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Kris Humphries and $3.0 million

It is obvious my colleagues at Nets are Scorching place a very high value on Mr. Favors and they reported to me the Nets think he will be special. I agree that from a purely basketball standpoint they should probably bide their time, let Favors and Lopez grow and see what they can add in the free agent market next summer. The problem is the Nets have acted like they were going to make a big splash and Mikhail Prokhov has been very open about how he would like to win the New York fans over to the Nets. What better way than outbidding them for Carmelo? I would expect the Nets to be aggressive in pursuing Carmelo and that means being willing to part with Favors.

Both Sebastian and Devin believe that would be a mistake and they both also believe they are giving up a very good player in Terrence Williams. They also both pointed out how Avery Johnson is not a coach that would suffer a player like Melo, who does not prioritize defense, lightly. I have to wonder if politics and bravado will ultimately trump basketball in New Jersey.

New York Knickerbockers

Denver Receives: Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry future first round pick and $3.0 million.

We already discussed Gallinari, but the player I really lust after is Randolph. The sky is the limit for Randolph who can do almost anything on the basketball court. He struggled under Don Nelson in Golden State and he is much more tools than polish at this point in his career. If the Nuggets are looking to rebuild in the wake of trading Carmelo Randolph would be an excellent piece to start with.

Conclusions

I firmly believe the Nets and Knicks could very well get into a bidding war for Carmelo. I suspect every team that makes a play for Mr. Anthony will begin with a lowball offer hoping the Nuggets act out of desperation. Amongst his potential suitors I do not see the Magic having the same firepower as the Rockets, Nets and Knicks. As long as there is some competition for Carmelo’s services the Nuggets should receive a respectable offer despite their compromised position.

As I fielded trade ideas and comments I found it very interesting to discover the difference in attitude amongst Nets fans and Rockets fans. People familiar with the Nets seem to think they can acquire Melo relatively cheaply where Rockets boosters are largely of the opinion that they will have to part with Kevin Martin or Aaron Brooks.

The biggest question for the Nuggets is do they attempt to retool through this process or do they choose to rebuild. Based on what the teams Carmelo is rumored to be interested in have to offer I believe Denver is better off rebuilding. They can find some financial relief and prospects/draft picks by trading Carmelo and I believe they could do the same with Chauncey, who deserves better than to toil on a lottery team at this point in his career.

For all the consternation about what Melo wants the Nuggets have the potential to come out of this process, no matter how painful, in a solid position for building a team for the future. It is certainly possible they miss the playoffs for a year or two, but with money to spend, some young talent and some extra draft picks to play with the Nuggets should avoid a prolonged stretch of malfeasance and could ultimately come out of this ordeal better than they went into it.

Here are a couple of other interesting options that did not make the post involving the Nuggets and Rockets.

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  • fella

    jus trade Melo before traning camp starts

  • fella

    I cant tell u he’s not gonna give his all being he’s playing some where he don’t wanna be.

  • http://www.blogabull.com BullsBlogger

    How would you view a package around Luol Deng? Not the best contract, but he’s a better ‘win-now’ piece than some of those listed above.

    Basically Deng+Gibson+James Johnson has to be the package given the Bulls current salary structure. Also have a couple future firsts to offer (their own and a protected Charlotte pick)

  • David

    I came up with (via the trade machine)…

    Rockets get…

    * Melo

    Nuggets get…

    * Budinger (very affordable, good potential)

    * Chuch Hayes (affordable, expiring, gives other centers fits no matter how short he is)

    * Kevin Martin (fills much of the scoring void at half the price of a Melo extension)

    * Jordan Hill (expiring, could turn into a player)

    Of course, in a 4-for-1 trade, both teams would have to make additional roster moves. We could try to trade players (starting with J.R.) for picks.

    By the way, with Melo’s status being what it is, what sense did it make to let Joey Graham go? Ouch.

  • http://www.knickerblogger.net Caleb

    There’s a raging debate at KB over whether it’s worth trading Gallo AND Randolph for Carmelo. Posters are split about 50-50; I vote no way. One reason: if Carmelo is willing to give up some $, a la LeBron/Wade/Bosh – then there’s very little incentive for the Knicks (or Nets) to make their “best” offer. They can sign Carmelo next summer, and give up nothing! While he would be leaving a lot of money on the table, not doing an extend-n-trade, there is the precedent from this summer. AND another incentive, in that leaving money on the table could be the only way to fit in a 3rd star teammate, e.g. Chris Paul.
    I also wouldn’t hold your breath for a high draft pick from the Knicks. I think we’re looking at a .500 team this year, with a young roster and tons of cap room and assets to improve next summer.

  • David

    Caleb… I might be cynical, but I really think the biggest factor that allowed Wade/Bosh/LBJ to leave money on the table was the fact that they will make up for most of it with the lack of Florida state tax. The exact opposite is true if Melo goes to NY. I wouldn’t count on Melo or any other big stars leaving a lot of money on the table, in most situations.

  • Andy

    If the last couple years have shown anything, Denver needs a true center. Any trade with NJ should begin and end with Lopez. NY needs to find a third team willing to trade their center. Has anyone thought about Yao?

    P.S. If Melo really does want to win (rather than just playing in front of all his hood rats on the East coast), does he realize that he’ll never get past Miami? He’d stand a much better chance in the post-Kobe West.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

    Hey BullsBlogger, I would have posted a Bulls trade since it has been getting some play in the comments, but ran out of time and energy late last night.

    I like Deng and Gibson, but I do not think they help the Nuggets compete going forward and Deng’s contract gives me pause. The Nuggets could remain competitive with that trade, but I would prefer the financial flexibility some of the other trades offer.

    However, I am not the one making the decisions and if the Nuggets’ front office is looking to remain a playoff contender they would certainly consider doing a deal with Chicago.

  • Mike

    Why would the Nuggets have to give up *more* to get the Magic to trade Carter for Anthony?

    The Magic should absolutely sweeten that deal with Ryan Anderson and two first rounders. Their window is this season; after that, the East will belong to the Heat.

  • tdub

    What about Marvin Williams, Jamal Crawford(10 million expiring contract) and two 1st round draft picks for Melo.

  • GZ

    I actually agree with Caleb that it makes more sense for Melo and the Knicks if he waits the year out in Denver and signs next season with the Knicks in free agency. As Caleb says, that way the roster stays intact to help compete for a title or you have chips to trade to New Orleans for Paul and cap room left to absorb his salary. As for the money issue that David pointed out, while New York has higher taxes, Melo could purchase stock in Madison Square Garden, which would increase in value upon his arrival, and make up the difference that way.

  • Tom

    I’m starting to feel bad for Knicks fans. They keep talking themselves into these scenarios where they think players will leave loads of money to play in New York. The Big Apple! The Center of the Universe!

    We get it. Really, we do. NYC is an important city. Probably the Rome of current era. But here’s something the rest of us realized this offseason but maybe you guys haven’t picked up yet. All those bright lights really don’t affect players and basketball decisions. It’s not like you can offer no state tax like Texas and Florida. It’s not like actually being in Hollywood like being in LA. Seriously, those are the only legitimate “destination” teams in the league.
    The only player you guys signed after spending two years and lord knows how many assets to prepare for was Amare Stoudamire. And you signed him for 5 years $100M, more than any other team, including his original, was willing to. So in other words, the only player that signed with you was for the money. Shocking.

    The real ace in the hole is the Knicks owner. Seriously, James Dolan is borderline Donald Sterling 2.0. Really? Let’s rehire Isiah Thomas? Seriously, that says everything that needs to said about the owner there.

    If the Knicks don’t “win” the auction for Melo while competing with other bidders, Melo won’t be a Knick in the future. It’s that simple. If you guys seriously think Melo is gonna leave trashbags full of money just “to play in NY,” good luck with that. It worked super well in 2010.

  • David

    Has anybody heard any theories about why Melo would be considering Houston? That doesn’t fit with his (and Lala’s) desire to be on the East Coast or in L.A. And it doesn’t seem to offer the chance to be part of a “Big 3″, right? Houston can’t keep Yao and add Melo+Paul, as far as I can tell. And Melo/Paul/Martin is not a Big 3, even if that could happen. I don’t see why Melo would think that Houston is a better place for him than Denver. Is there something there for him that I’m not seeing?

  • Tom

    Houston could certainly keep Yao while signing Melo and Paul. Houston has the assets right now to trade for both players if New Orleans was willing to move Paul. They’ve also shown a willingness to venture pretty deep into luxury tax area.

    Battier/Jeffries/Martin/Brooks/Hill/Patterson/Budinger/Lee/Hayes/Knicks swap rights in 2011/Knicks pick in 2012 are all tradeable assets at this point. Some combination of the above could absolutely get Melo and Paul with Houston keeping a couple of the above + Yao, Miller, Scola, Lowry.

    It all really comes down to Yao’s health as far as their ability to be a true championship contender. Regardless though, Houston probably has the most tradeable and willing-to-trade assets in the league along with maybe Portland (not sure how willing they are though). If I were a player who was only concerned with winning and stuck in a place I didn’t think I could, Houston would definitely be on a short list due to their current roster composition and more importantly, their GM is one of the few who actually knows what he’s doing.

  • Fortune

    I don’t think you can compare Melo’s situation with 2010 FA. I do agree many of us Knicks fans were overselling NYC

  • Fortune

    I don’t think you can compare Melo’s situation with 2010 FA. I do agree many of us Knicks fans, myself not included, were overselling NYC as the mecca of basketball and all that but if you believe the reports, the decision came down to NY(his “team” was reportedly heavily pushing NY even in the minutes leading up to the decision) or MIA(wanted to play with his buddies). The appeal of NYC

  • DHinNYC

    I hate the Knicks as much – or more – than the next Nuggets fan, but having lived in NYC for over six years I can absolutely understand why Melo would want to play here. You simply can’t beat the lifestyle, the glamor, and the history here. I’m not going to pretend to know what Melo will do (I hope he stays in Denver) but that fact is undeniable and will always give the city’s teams a certain edge.

    But on a more interesting note, Jeremy I wonder why you haven’t factored Brandon Marshall into this equation. Could he fill Melo’s shoes? Let’s get your thoughts. Lighten the mood for us. The thought of going back to rebuilding only a year removed from a Western Conference Finals appearance is too depressing.

  • David

    Tom… Great post. I guess if the Rockets are willing to ship Brooks to NO (plus much more) and Martin to Denver (plus more), then you might be right. That would be taking a huge risk and placing it squarely on Yao’s feet, though. IMHO Houston, Melo, and Paul would be foolish to take that chance. But, if Yao could stay healthy, they would be a contender, as you said.

  • GZ

    Or Melo just included Houston on his list so that Daryl Morey would give him a personalized Ipad like the one he gave Bosh before he takes his talents to Manhattan.

    Tom, I know Dolan is a disaster, but I think the MSG stock could make up the difference on salaries. Also, the fact is they already have one of the “other big 3″ under contract for the long term, and a foreseeable path to get the third one (Paul). It seems clear that these guys want to play together somewhere, maybe because the Heat have changed the landscape of the league sufficiently that they feel the need to do it to stay relevant for marketing purposes. There’s a reason Nike’s puppet ads were of LeBron and Kobe and not Chris Bosh and Danny Granger (also Nike players). Joining forces would improve their chances of contending (companies like winners hawking their products) and more importantly would generate a lot of buzz. Advertising dollars is where the real money is for these guys, and I think they’re more likely to attract those dollars if they’re playing in a big market and are part of the “much-talked-about new big three”.

    As for Melo and Paul joining with Yao, I wouldn’t bet on Yao being healthy enough to build around long term. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t retire this season or next because of injuries.

  • k

    I think the nuggets should make some trades. But NOT melo. Why not trade a combination of Billups/JR/Birdman/Kmart/Harrington and get some young fresh blood to start building around. Why panic and trade your best player. If you do that you are going to be rebuilding anyway. So why not start a little rebuilding now and see if Melo changes his mind if Denver takes off. He does have that $65m to think about as well.
    If it doesnt work out then you trade Melo at the deadline and get some MORE rebuilding chips to use. Throughout those trades I assume there would be some expiring contracts so now the Nuggets have cap space to spend in the next offseason to add an allstar player to their young core they built up with all the moves.
    Where can i send my resume to be the next GM? Sign me up!
    But seriously the new GM should get some young athletic defensive minded players to run with Lawson/afllalo/nene/Melo. If we end up trading Melo you know some of those players (most likely Billups) is moving on anyways. Why not start now and see where it takes you.If we do nothing its not like the nuggets are winning the finals as is so why stand pat hoping to make it past the first round again?
    Also, if Melo really wants to play on the Knicks I don’t see how the knick’s plus Melo win any more games or go any farther than the current nuggets in the playoffs (and that’s without trading players to get him). The Nets are even farther away than that! Maybe he does just want to play in NYC period. He cant honestly think those teams are a title contender right now. So maybe its just a life change he seeks and not a basketball one. Otherwise it doesn’t really make sense.

  • ARoth

    I agree with Jeremy. The deal I like best is the one with Anthony Randolph. Our Lineup could be Billups/Afflalo/Gallo/Randolph/Nene, and Lawson/AC/Harrington/Martin(or Birdman)/and Turiaf. Not gonna win a championship, but they could compete and there are 304 good young pieces in there and some expirings.

  • David

    k… Here’s the problem with that scenario: None of the players you want to trade will bring back much value. This might be the worst year ever for trying to unload an expiring contract (especially if you want to get a rotation player in return). Many of the “bad” teams have already gone far under the cap in trying to land LBJ/Wade/Bosh. They don’t need more cap relief. There are many more teams with expiring contracts than there are teams who want to acquire expiring contracts.

    To make matters worse, one of the main reasons for picking up expiring contracts and getting under the cap is to go after big-name free agents in the offseason. Melo is the big name (if he becomes a free agent). Other than that, this coming summer is going to be terrible for free agents compared to this past summer. That makes expiring contracts even less valuable.

    So K-Mart is untradeable for the time being, even if he wasn’t recovering from major knee surgery.

    Birdman is also recovering from surgery, and he’s coming off an unimpressive year.

    JR might have some value to the right team, but his value will be discounted because of character/chemistry/off-court concerns. We wouldn’t get what he’s worth (talent-wise) in return.

    Chauncey has a huge contract for this year. Only a contender who is a veteran point guard away from the championship would take him right now. The only team I can think of that comes close to that description is L.A., and that’s not likely at all.

    Harrington might be more tradeable than any of the others, but that’s not saying much. We are paying him too much for too long. I’m not sure who wants that contract. More importantly, unless I’m mistaken, he can’t be traded until later in the season under the CBA rules. Maybe Jeremy or someone else can validate or refute that for me.

    We just aren’t in a good position right now. However, financially, we’ll be in great shape after this year. Hopefully, Melo can hang in there until then.

  • Tom

    I was a little overharsh to NY in my first post but my main point is superstar players aren’t willing to trade guaranteed years/truckloads of money just for the sake of playing in NY anymore (if that was ever true). It’s a global market, endorsement contracts work anywhere now. They might have a little more value (that’s even questionable) in a big city but really, is LeBron’s or Kobe’s or Wade’s value really different if they’re in Cleveland, New York, or Miami? I don’t see Peyton Manning having any endorsement problems in Indianapolis. If you’re a superstar player, you’ll get your endorsements.

    Melo IS going to get this extension for $65M, one way or another. Hence, whoever trades for him in an extend and trade wins Melo’s rights. I honestly believe the chance of him giving up that much extra money/security is extremely unlikely, I’d almost say 0%, hence the list of teams. Melo and his agency are smart people, they know that with a list of teams he’s more likely to be traded to an acceptable destination with the ability to make all that “extra” money. If he says “I’m only going to the Knicks” or whatever team, then the Nuggets retain the option of saying “screw you, go sign a lesser contract as a free agent.” It lessens the risk and increases the reward for both sides to have a list of teams to work with. Then when you factor in the new CBA and what seems VERY likely to have a detrimental effect on player contracts, it’s an absolute slam dunk he signs the current extension and then stays or moves on.

    As far as the trades that Jeremy received, really the Houston one is the only one worth doing in my opinion as it has present and future value. New Jersey has to be willing to give up Favors for any deal with them to work as I think T-Will is vastly overrated as a centerpiece. New York has to give up Gallo and Randolph for them to work.

    The bright side is that Melo at least gave three options (NY, NJ, HOU) that have some intriguing pieces that could make a trade pretty equitable. I consider Orlando a distant, distant 4th as far as trade pieces simply because they don’t have enough young pieces. Orton and Anderson are the only ones and they’re rated far below what the other three teams have (Favors, Gallo, Randolph, take your pick with the Rockets).

  • pink.monkeys.can.fly

    Nuggets get A. Randolph (NYK), E. Curry (NYK), M. Redd (MIL)

    Bucks get D. Gallinari (NYK), K. Martin (DEN)

    Knicks get C. Anthony (DEN), R. Balkman (DEN)

    Throw in a couple of Jim Nolan’s cash and some draft picks here and there.

  • Datruth114

    Iggy & Niocioni, & Sixers 2nd round pick for Mello & maybe Denver’s no.2.
    For both teams it’s fair echange no robbery.

  • Shylo

    Melo is Denver! He leaves & there won’t be a playoff birth for quite some time, & that’s a fact, unless of course, Nuggets trade for equality & / or superiority for him. That’s going to be really hard to do. I believe the comment that unless Denver gets the necessary people around him to win that coveted championship ring, you force him to leave. At that point, I wouldn’t blame him.

    Quickly, the Nuggets desperately need a dominant Center. This would take care of alot of problems & bring us alot closer to the promiseland if not in & on it immediately.

  • Chris

    That wud be a relly good trad… denver & milwaukee…
    if Melo comes to milwukee. the Bucks wud be right ther with the Heat

  • NYmo

    Perfect trade: 3 team (dont know why the knicks havent tried this)
    Knicks get – melo
    nuggets get – curry(ny), gallinari(ny), c.brewer(min)
    twolves get – azubuike(ny), balkman(den)

    Nuggets definetly come out good with the 2yr. team option, brewer’s good, and 11mil. coming off the books next summer. t wolves improve. and knicks get the star and native son they’ve been longing for.

  • Tom

    Just curious, why in the world would the Nuggets trade Martin and Gallinari for Michael Redd? We already have shooting guards and we lack frontcourt players so why trade two for a SG? And one that’s not healthy. And somehow makes MORE than Martin this year.

    Same with the Iggy/Nocioni trade. Why in god’s name would we want Nocioni or his contract? Why not just offer Brand/Nocioni so Philly can shed all its bad contracts at the same time?

  • Truitt

    As a nuggets fan it hurts to confront the possibility that melo will be playing elsewhere next season. However, as a fan of the league I can see how this came to be with all of the consolidation of talent in Miami.

    In my opinion, there are three things that you want to achieve whn you are forced to trade away your super star. You want to get good young talent, cap flexability, and future draft picks. Most of recent discussion is focused on young talent and I think that the last two conditions are being seriously overlooked. Melo is one of the best players in the league, so if you are looking to replace what he means to this franchise with ‘young talent,’ you are goin to be left wanting.

    Cap flexibilityis essential to therebuilding process and is something that we have no hadfor quite sometime. Even though albatross contracts like k mart’s will be off the books next year, Whomever becomes the new gm will still have alot to do inorder to balance our payroll.

    Future first round draft picks always sound greatto fans, but there is a big difference between picking in the lottery and picking in the late twenties (ask Minnesota how those Boston picks have helped them solidify their roster). If we are trading for future picks we should looks for ones that have a high chance of being in the lottery this year, so we can rebuild as quickly as possible.

    With this understanding in mind, I chose Sacramento as a viable option at the trade deadline ( assuming they do not look like a playoff team). Let’s say they give us casspi, dalembert, and landry for balkman, birdman, and melo. Plus we get their 2011&13 first rounders. Balkman and birdman are by far the worst contracts on this team and casspi and landry are both goodyoung talents with great contracts. Dalembert is an expiring so that’s 12m off the books next year. If the nuggets do this trade they will probably be picking in the lottery and hopefully Sacramento will go through some growing pains and miss the playoffs as well. So, in the end we get two chances to pick a future star in the NBA, plus enough cap relief to finally get under the tax at the end end of the year and somedecent young talent in casspi and landry to rebuild with (not around).

    I know it might be a little too pragmatic for some fans, and it is definatley conditioned on Sacramento losing a lot ofgames before the deadline. but I like this better than getting gallo from the knicks orMartin form the rockets, or favors (bust) from the nets and in all cases getting none lottery picks back. What doyou think?

  • Tom

    Truitt,

    I think you’re spot on in your assessment of what the Nuggets need/are looking for. Also, you’re being realistic about the difference between a difference making 1st rounder and a “hope this guy can be in the rotation” 1st rounder. I do think you might be underselling the latter just a little though. There’s a lot of good players in the league that were drafted at the latter portion of the first round who most importantly, are on rookie contracts. That second part cannot be overemphasized. However, I believe the most important part of those late first rounders is the flexibility they can provide. Flexibility in this case meaning having the ability to package first rounders to move up higher, trading a late first rounder for a future first rounder that has the potential to become better than the original one, taking overseas players to stash them without taking up salary/roster space, or absolute worst case, sell them. Having pick #25 might not sound or even be sexy, but there’s quite a few different uses for it which is why I believe they’re not to be overlooked. One reason the Nuggets are in the payroll/roster shape they’re in is because we’ve been pawning off our first rounders for about a decade now (I still hyperventilate thinking about the three first rounders for Martin). We’ve had to fill out our rotation with overpriced veterans with limited ceilings instead of cheap youngsters with higher potential who just might be a lottery ticket and become more than an 8th guy in the rotation.

    I see where you’re going with the Sacramento trade but I honestly believe the Kings want nothing to do with Melo. They have what they believe to be the foundation of the team with Evans and Cousins. Assuming neither goes off the deep end, it’s hard to argue with them as they play the two scarcest positions, are insanely athletic and talented, and are still scratching the surface of their potential. I see zero chance of them wanting a guy with usage rates as high as Melo on that team. I know I wouldn’t. They’re looking for roleplayers who can shoot and defend and maybe a third scorer.

    Even if Sacramento did want Melo and offered the package you said, I’d still prefer a package centered around Gallo or Favors. Gallo/Favors have the pedigree, talent, and skillsets you’re looking for as former high lottery picks. It’s no slam dunk we’d get a guy as highly touted as either with Sacramento’s picks, especially as their twosome gets better and if there’s initial lottery protections on the 2011 pick. I can’t really compare it to the Martin trade proposal because that one is based on us wanting to remain competitive now so it’s hard to judge what that trade would do to us without seeing how other trades would play out (taking Martin would almost certainly mean moving Smith). Hard to compare that one in a vacuum.

    If we’re staying in fantasyland though, I still want to find some way to get David Kahn on the phone and sell him Melo for Rubio, Love, Johnson. KAAAAAAAAHN!!!

  • http://roundballminigcompany.com john

    this is a no win sit. for denver with melo we atleast make the playoffs whic you never know if we get hot watch out. with out him were in trouble. anyone else remember the few years before melo got here? anyone? thats right we were abismal. the only trade i would want to see is melo for lopez in nj. then we would have a great young center and a great young point gaurd. we would need to get one more above average player probally either a sg or sf and just add average players at the other two and we would be a champ contender i believe i think nene would be a more then adequit pf to fit there maybe get a james posey for the sf and try to get a michael redd type player that can shoot the lights out of a arena. lemme know what you think

  • Truitt

    All good points Tom. I guess you are goingto have to throw me in with all the otherhaters because I am just not that big on favors or gallo. I am not saying that they are bad, but they are not world beaters either. Gallo reminds me of peja ( European, oversized 2 man with a good shot and hustle) and j.r ( will shoot wherever, whenever). Because we already have one j.r. On our team iam less thrilled at the prospect of adding another.

    Favors could be the next Amare, or any other elite pf you want to use as a comparison, but I see him falling short of that and being an emeka okefor type. It would burn me up if we traded melo and we got back okefor. That’s why I suggested Sacramento because with dalembert you get to rent out similar production for a year and then decide if you want to sign him to a contract ornot, to me that’s a good deal.

    I feel like we only disagree in part over the subject of draft picks and that may be largely due to my own errors in communication. We both agree draft picks aregood, the higherthe better. I am placing a high value on getting at least one lottery pick for melo and if you disagree, I understand 100 percent. However, that criteria makes it hard for me to want to trade him east because I think that while the east is better than it has been, melo would still make just about any team there an 8 seed if he went to that conference. Thus, no lottery pick, so I don’t want any part of it.

    I think you areprobably right that Sacramento wants no part in melo because they are still developing their young talent. Getting melo would definately make them a win now team and they Might not feel like they are ready forthat.

    Oh well, Such is the way of hypothetical trade ideas that appear in the comments section of blogs. Thanks for taking the time to entertain my idea. Honestly, regardless of what we get back, I just hope that all the players play hard next season and everyone handles themselves in a mature and professional manner. I don’t want the nuggets to be compared to the cavs or raps.

  • Byrd

    Carmelo really wants to win and help Denver and himself at the same time. First he goes to Chicago where there’s so much depth its crazy already atleast the 4th best team in the east with everything he and Denver need. Secondly Chicago has multiple scenarios for Denver Ronnie Brewer, Gibson, Korver,and James Johnson. Shuffle it anyway you may to make it work. Plus the Bulls have multiple first round picks and plenty money. After all that now you have the starting lineup in the third biggest city with great marketing of you-r CHICAGO BULLS pg all-star Derrick Rose, eg Luel Deng, SF all-star Carmello Anthony pf all-star Carlos Boozer, c potential all-star J.Noah. … Miami don’t want no part of that trust me! !!!!

  • Troy

    A trade with Denver, Orlando, and Dallas:

    Orlando receives:
    Billups
    Melo
    JR
    Birdman

    Denver receives:
    Nelson
    VC
    Butler
    Gortat
    Draft picks

    Dallas receives:
    Bass
    Peitrus
    Balkman

    Orlando gets the talent to maybe put them over the top for the next couple years. At least give them a fighting chance against Miami.

    Denver gets Butler to replace Melo, a younger PG to pair with Ty Lawson, a C that can let Nene play PF again, and VC to make up for JR’s points. Denver would get some picks (albeit not as great as some other teams picks). Denver would get cap relief after this year between VC, Butler, Martin, A. Carter, and S. Williams for a total of $42 mil off the books next year. That would clear way for the team to add quality pieces at a much lower cost considering the new CBA will most likely lower the salary of the players which would help Denver to afford talent at a discounted price than this year. (Now, I’m spectulating on that because I am not exactly sure on the new rules in the CBA agreement, but I know that it is suppose to favor the owners).

    Dallas gets Bass back, as well as Peitrus to back up Marion, and Balkman who Denver has had trouble putting on the court for some reason. Dallas seems to do well with role players and would probably be able to use Balkman effectively.

    Sound feasible?

  • Malakiazul

    All this crap about Melo going to Sac-Town, H-Town, Orlando, L.A. is just that, CRAP!! The main things to keep in mind is that Melo wants to go somewhere he can be on a good team AND his wife can have her career. And she will be a BIG influence on where he agrees to play. Last I looked, none of these cities have ANYTHING to offer his wife except the Clippers. Enough said about that team. Orlando and H-Town have the good teams part but nothing for the wife. So this leaves the Knicks or Nets. The Nets already are terrible and would have to give up too much to become a good team. That leaves the Knicks. They can give up Gallo, Curry, future pick, and $$$$. They’re going to be a better team than they’re given credit for. They’ve got one of the “next big 3″ already in Amare. And besides Hollywood, there’s no other place bigger than NY for his wife’s career!

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