The Indian Summer of Carmelo is certainly looking as if it could drag well into the winter at which point I will have to come up with a different name for it. We have studied potential trade partners, what location gives Carmelo the best opportunity to win and how the Nuggets are hoping to convince Carmelo to stay as the season is drawing ever closer. We have wasted hours of our lives dwelling on something that has not even happened and I know most everyone is burned out by it.
For all the pixels that have been pushed to the brink of burning out from all the multitude of words that have been written about Carmelo’s future I have a hair brained scheme that I believe has not appeared on anyone’s screen up till now. I have a plan to land Carmelo Anthony a boat full of cash, allow the Nuggets to keep him in Denver for the entirety of 2010-11 to see how far this team can go and then Melo will have the freedom to sign with whomever he pleases when the NBA returns to action.
In order for this plan to work Denver would have to resist the urge to trade Carmelo during the season, Carmelo would have to kiss his three year, $65 million extension goodbye and the NBA will have to lockout the players come July 1, 2011. Sounds simple enough right?
The key to this little scheme is the lockout. With the NBA publicly announcing the position that the owners are seeking to reduce player expenditures by one third in the new CBA, I think we can bank on there being a lockout next July. This would seem to be bad news for the players. However, it is not bad for players who are not under contract when the lockout commences.
If Carmelo Anthony does not sign an extension and then exercises his early termination option following the season he is not under contract and would be eligible to play basketball somewhere other than the NBA. Enter Europe.
There have been musings about NBA stars being offered huge paydays to play in Europe. Kobe once said he would play in Europe for $50 million, not that anyone was offering him that. Shaw apparently shopped his wares around Europe this summer hoping to land an eight figure deal. Heck, we have seen Linas Kleiza paid $6 million to play in Greece for a season. If he is locked out of the NBA and is free to play anywhere, how much money could Carmelo demand if he put himself up to the highest bidder?
If Linas Kleiza is worth $6 million, wouldn’t Carmelo be worth far more? European teams have proven they will pay over a player’s NBA market value. If Melo’s value in the NBA is $18 million how much more could he make in Europe? $20 million? $25 million? More?
However much Melo would make I am sure it would more than bridge the gap between how much he looses by passing on the extension and the undoubtedly significant amount he will sign for under the new CBA.
Carmelo, and his reps, get paid. Denver gets to keep their franchise player for a full season and see how far a team built to win now can go without worrying about when Melo will be traded. Once the lockout is over, Carmelo can sign with New York without worrying about the Knicks gutting their roster to acquire him.
Melo would undoubtedly need to walk once the lockout is over, however, the last lockout in 1998-99 drug on into January and games did not begin until February and that was during a time when the economy was not in shambles. How much longer could this lockout last? Undoubtedly any team that signs him might lose him for the playoffs, but they will certainly get their money out of him.
Of course, I have an ulterior motive. With Melo playing in Spain, Italy or Greece hopefully I can get ESPN to send me overseas to cover his exploits giving me something to write about during the down time of a lockout.
It simply makes too much sense not to happen.
An Infusion or New Blood
I am very proud to announce the addition of two new writers to Roundball Mining Company. David Starcer is a journalism student at Colorado University and he will be helping me cover the Nuggets during the season. David covered the Buffaloes for the CU Independent with a focus on Men’s basketball.
Roger Brown is an former colleague of mine who resides in Boise. He will utilize his unique outlook on life as he covers the Nuggets D-League affiliate Idaho Stampede.
I expect both of these fine men to be a great addition to RMC and it should alleviate those breaks that have arisen here and there when I get a little too bogged down with life to post consistently. I happily offer a laurel, and hardy handshake to David and Roger.
(Warning, wildly inappropriate use of a certain racial epithet.)
More Season Previews
The CelticsBlog season preview-paloza rolls on with the Southeast Division now complete.
Hawks: Peachtree Hoops