Getting Carmelo, the Nuggets and Knicks What They All Want

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.

Bobcats: Rufus on FireHoops AddictSBN Recap

Hawks: Peachtree Hoops

Heat: Peninsula Is MightierSportsAgentBlog.com

Magic: Orlando Pinstriped PostMagic BasketballOrlando Magic DailyOrlando Sports Central

Wizards: Bullets ForeverSparty and FriendsTruth About ItSBN Recap

All Recaps

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  • Joel

    this is a load of bs. what a waste of time. melo is not going to play in europe, its not all about the cash for these guys, if it was melo would have signed the extension, which guarantees about 21 million a year after this season. melo wants to win, and wants to compete to beat miami, and la. The knicks will be his next team, its the only place he can compete for years to come.

  • k

    I still don’t see how the knicks will be a better basketball team than the nuggets if they trade for melo. You mentioned mia and LA. Amare/Bosh/Gasol can cancel each other out. Melo/Kobe/Lebron can basically cancel each other out(not trying to start a who is better, just saying they are pretty even). Miami still has dwayne wade. LA still has Lamar Kardashian and Artest. If they knicks trade randolph and gallo away who is their third banana? Raymond Felton? Even boston has more impact players. The knicks would still be a chris paul or someone else away from competing for a title in my mind. I don’t doubt Melo wants to go to the knicks. I would just hope its not in the thinking they are going to be immediate champs.

  • DH

    I have an alternative scenario that won’t happen, but it gives me great pleasure just thinking about it. Right now, Melo’s reps think they hold all the cards and can demand almost anything they want. Thus, they think they can demand that Melo will play only for NY or Chicago, or maybe NJ. But what if the Nuggets reverse their stance and declare that they will not trade Melo? After the deadline passes without a trade, Melo and his agents will become very, very nervous about all of the cash he could lose under a new CBA (the recent report of a possible 1/3 reduction in player salaries helps tremendously). Melo would have only one other option, and that is to beg the Nuggets to sign him to an extension and trade him as soon as they can. At that point, the Nuggets would hold all the cards. They could trade Melo wherever they want, whenever they want. At the very least, they could compromise and greatly expand the number of teams with which a trade could be worked out.

    What would prevent the Nuggets from taking this route? Obviously, they would be taking a chance on Melo not asking for an extension and becoming a free agent, resulting in what they fear most – losing Melo for “nothing”. The only way I can see Melo letting himself become a free agent, though, is if he thinks he has some way of making up for any lost salary. Maybe he has a marketing deal lined up in NY, if he joins the Knicks. Or maybe he has some kind of “backroom deal” that nobody knows about. If not, he won’t allow himself to become a free agent because, to paraphrase Carmelo, “Where I come from, you don’t ever leave money on the table.”

    So, does anyone have any thoughts on this? Like I said, it won’t happen. But it would be great if it did.

  • DHinNYC

    Sounds good to me. I’ve started to get the nihilistic feeling myself that we should just have one last shot at glory with this team.

  • KW

    Great to see that you’re adding some new blood.

    NO way Melo is going to Europe unless it’s on vacation during the lockout.

    I really hope they just let him walk. It seems that Melo has an weird agenda…he really wants to go to a worse team in a larger market? As long as the FO is negotiating against this agenda, I’m not sure they can come up with a win/win scenario.

    If I were in the FO, I’d be saying, “Well, Carmelo, WHAT DO YOU WANT?” Until he articulates that, what can they do?

  • Clayton

    I have a feeling that the Nugs are banking on exactly what was questioned to the commish this week – Franchise Tag. It seems to have worked fairly well in the NFL to prevent your big time stars from bolting smaller clubs and ruining the parity of the league. I think players will keep the guaranteed contracts only to lose this concession. And then the ideal situation ensues:
    Melo still on team the entire 2010-2011 season; do alright and get into the playoffs.

    Lock out occurs

    Melo does NOT opt out of his deal for 2011 (be silly to give up 18 million to sit on your butt all year)

    CBA finalizes with a lot less money for players AND franchise tag

    Melo HAS to sign back with Denver for even less money due to hard cap, few player funds and franchise tag.

    Hang in there Nugs – the world is gonna crash for players trying to run the league

  • aussie nugs fan

    I don’t actually think there will be a lockout, the players don’t want it and neither do the owners. But if it did happen, i find it very hard to imagine a european team paying $25mil to have melo between august to january. What about another scenario wher the nuggets don’t trade melo and try to see how far we can go, hanging on to the slim hope that he stays here (maybe some serious luck and a deep playoff run could help!), if not and he wants to go, we still have leverage bcz melo will want NYK to work a sign and trade, melo will have lots of teams courting him but a team that can work a sign and trade with denver can offer carmelo tens of millions (depending on new CBA) more than a team that can’t. So what im saying is even if we stand pat we could still avoid losing melo for nothing.

  • Roger

    David Stern doesnt want parity, he wants the big market teams to dominate so he can the NBA can get marquee matchups.