Between moments of daydreaming of sweet Carmelo Anthony trade packages and sleeping on my couch I found out there is some kind of World Basketball Championship contest going on.
Of course I have been well aware of Team USA’s attempt to validate their gold medal performance in the 2008 Olympics by duplicating the same accomplishment in the FIBA World Championship. To make things even more interesting Denver’s own Chauncey Billups is playing the role of Yoda due to the fact he is the only player on the team who can buy his own booze. So far in the Team USA’s first two games Chuancey has played well. He produced the first five points of the tournament and has been solid if unspectacular. He is still quick enough to get past the opposing guards and he has done a good job of earning free throws. I even saw him pass the ball on a pick and roll once.
It is obvious Chauncey is the best point guard on the roster with the presence of Derrick Rose, who actually starts at the one with Chauncey running at the two, but his place on the team was safe from the beginning due to his experience and shooting ability. His ability to create for others and drain shots from the shortened international three point line has proven as valuable as his intimate knowledge of the game of basketball.
There is actually a second current Nugget player in Turkey trying to win gold for his country. Believe it or not Renaldo Balkman is playing for Puerto Rico, although so far he is averaging only 12 minutes in two games.
He has been working on his outside shot though.
I am a bit tardy posting this link, but I was on At the Buzzer with Brian Doolittle on Sports Radio 1380 AM in St. Louis discussing the Carmelo Anthony situation.
Over the weekend Sam Amico tweeted that the Nuggets would like to trade Carmelo to the Nets, Kings or Timberwolves. The Kings and Wolves? Before you start cranking out deals with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine involving those two teams, I recommend you save your energy. The Nuggets want to deal with the Kings have $14 million in cap space which would allow Denver to bring back far less salary than they send out creating some immediate savings. The other reason why they want to deal with the Kings is because they covet DeMarcus Cousins. When rumors were flowing about Denver swapping Ty Lawson for a first round pick in June Cousins was their target. Considering Melo would leave Sacramento as quickly as possible following the season I am pretty sure the Kings are not interested in pulling the trigger on that trade.
The Wolves can offer a few young players such as Wesley Johnson, Johnny Flynn, Corey Brewer and Michael Beasley. Plus they have a few million in cap room themselves to bank some immediate savings. The best piece the Wolves have to offer is Ricky Rubio, but again, why would the Timberwolves part with a highly valued asset for a few months of Carmelo. Plus they do not own their 2011 pick further weakening their bargaining position.
You can spend hours staring at these NBA transaction flowcharts that Wyn Douglas put together. Here is Denver’s. You can see how Don Reid and Voshon Leonard played a role in the course of events that lead to Chauncey Billups arriving in Denver. Be careful, this is the kind of thing you can waste hours studying.