Blog Entry

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
Posted by Royce Young

I'm not sure the Knicks have felt this lucky since the 1985 draft lottery. But really, something tells me all along that Donnie Walsh knew. He knew that Carmelo Anthony wasn't going to end up in New Jersey. That's why he kept the Knicks so low key in the Melodrama.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov shocked most Wednesday by announcing his franchise was withdrawing from the Melo chase, citing that it was exhausting and taking up too many resources. He also said it was costing his team wins on the floor. I really think that Brook Lopez's desire to not rebound is probably doing that, but hey, he was looking for reasons.

(Now of course I have to mention that this could just be posturing or a threat to get Denver's attention, but general manager Billy King and Prokhorov seemed emphatic in saying it. These were public statements. It didn't seem like Prokhorov was trying to save face, even though that's what he really did. He knows Melo doesn't want to sign there. He feels like he's wasting time. So I don't buy the bluffing theory.)

With New Jersey pulling out, where does that leave the Nuggets? What does this mean for Carmelo? Denver had its best deal on the table with the four-team Nets deal that would give them assets in first-round picks, a young player in Derrick Favors and a lot of cap relief and savings. But that's gone now. Just like that, it's killed. Poof. Gone.

The hangup was always that Carmelo wasn't committed to signing an extension in New Jersey. If he was, this thing would've been done two months ago. But we kept hearing it over and over. Melo hasn't ever said he's willing to sign an extension with the Nets . Heck, Melo was basically saying it in every interview he did, but we just weren't listening. We were assuming that he was dancing around things. But he maintained he didn't know about the New Jersey stuff. All he ever said was he wanted to play in New York.

And now with New Jersey out of things, the Knicks are looking like the next, and really only option. Carmelo will sign an extension there. The Knicks have a decent package they can put together for the Nuggets. It all kind of makes sense now that the report dropped today about the Bulls re-entering the chase. The Nuggets are looking for leverage again and if the Knicks are the clear and only option, Denver won't get near the deal. Donnie Walsh sensed it when he said he was done talking about it. And Prokhorov was feeling it too. Everyone was starting to get played.

So here are the Melodrama options right now:

1. The Knicks spring into action. A New York offer will likely include Danilo Gallinari, Landry Fields/Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry's expiring deal and a first-round pick. At this point, this looks like the absolute best deal out there, but with other teams, well the Nets, backing off, that deal may not be as sweet. The Nuggets lost a lot of leverage today.

But it's been clear from the beginning that Carmelo wants to play in New York. He'll sign the extension there and the Nuggets can get a decent amount back. This clearly looks like the top scenario unless of course Denver just doesn't approve of what its getting back or the Knicks decide they'll just wait for the summer.

2. Someone tries to rent Melo. Ken Berger talked about the Mavericks getting into the mix a bit to rent Anthony. With the injury to Caron Butler, this makes a lot more sense. What it'll take is Dallas being willing to take on a big contract (like Al Harrington) in return. Dallas doesn't have a ton of assets so they'll likely have to bring in a third team, but Mark Cuban isn't shy about making moves. And this is something he'd likely see as a deal to get his team back in prime contention.

Another candidate for this would be the Rockets, but with them slipping out of the playoff picture a bit, they might not be willing to give up good assets just to make a run to the eight-seed. Dallas is the clear candidate to make a rental out of Melo.

What this scenario doesn't require is "approval" from Carmelo, because he won't sign an extension with his new team. But that's what he wants. This means the Nuggets will get far less because the Mavericks (or whoever) don't get Anthony for the long-term. Again, more indication the Nuggets will turn to the the Knicks to take over and make the deal.

3. A dark horse steps up and Melo approves. Chicago has already been looped in, but that just seems like a leverage ploy. The Bulls have never been rumored to be high on Carmelo's list and the Bulls have never appeared to be that interested in dealing.

The real dark horse here seems to be someone like the Clippers. They have a good package they could put together (Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and some picks) and maybe Anthony gets excited about playing with Blake Griffin, who is taking over the league. Los Angeles is a big time market, the team is rising and with Anthony, they could even make a little run this year.

Probably pretty unlikely because Melo hasn't never wavered on his New York wishes, but in terms of scenarios, I think this is at least possible. Chances are slim, but it's an option. The Clippers can top New York's deal, but we'd likely be right back to square one with the "Will Melo sign an extension with the Clippers?" game. That's why it's going to end up being New York.

4. The Nets try and get back in right at the deadline. Again, with the way Prokhorov and King backed off, this doesn't seem likely. They know Melo doesn't want to sign with the Nets. It's that simple.

But walking away is the best negotiation tactic out there. The Nets are trying to buy a new car and the dealership isn't budging. So they got up and left the lot. Maybe this kicks Denver's rear into gear and talks fire up again in a few weeks. Maybe this was a ploy by Prokhorov to get the media off his team's back for a bit.

The fact is, New Jersey has the best deal for Denver. But Melo doesn't want to sign there. If Denver can't get anything it likes by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, the Nuggets might turn back to the Nets and the Nets might convince themselves that they can convinve Carmelo to sign.

5. Nothing. Melo wants that extension. He said recently that he's positive there will be a lockout and if he doesn't sign that three-year $65 million extension, he could lose as much as $80 million over the life of his next contract. I doubt he's willing to risk that much. However, if the Knicks aren't budging, because they know they can hold out for the summer and just let Melo sign with them as a free agent, and Melo doesn't want to go anywhere, else, we might just see the season get played out.

I don't see that as likely at all because if it comes to this, Denver will trade Melo to Dallas as a rental and get something back. But maybe Denver decides it can sign Melo itself again. Maybe they try and convince him that extension is better than waiting and signing with New York but losing money. I guess it's possible, but really unlikely.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:53 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

I'm amazed at the reactions to this story. Melo has said playing in New York would be a dream. He is in a position to make that dream come true. LeBron wanted a championship he thought Miami gave him the best chance. Is the problem fans are having with this situation, the control Melo has over where he plays? I understand the reporters wanting to speculate on what can happen. I understand New Jersey and Denver fans reaction to losing out on Melo and or players and picks for him.
I even get a kickout of the armchair GM's that have proposed thier own trades, as if they don't have thier own agendas. Like they want the deal to benefit everybody. But this is a business and everyone has to look out for thier best interest. That means being in a better position than your competitors. It is laughable that Mr. Royce and the Nuggets fans think Melo should consider thier best interest's of the teams vying for his services. EVERYONE WHO HAS PAID ATTENTION TO THIS SAGA KNOWS THE KNICKS ARE NOT GOING TO TRADE FOR MELO WHEN THEY CAN GET HIM AND GIVE UP NEXT TO NOTHING AT A REDUCED SALARY. Recent history shows a player will take less money if they can compete for a championship. The Nuggests will have to trade him for less than they want or lose him at the end of the year. And I will leave you all with this.... NO ONE WILL FEEL BAD IF Melo goes to the Knicks and finds himself in the same situation he was in in Denver.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:52 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?


Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:49 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Idiot he is are the fool as Carmelo stands to make well more than that if he dons a Knick uniform in endorsments and being in teh MECCA of basketball....Denver should have put the ball in the KNicks court and allowed them to find team to help satisfy thier needs!!!

Since: Apr 30, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:19 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Melo's greedy and the Nuggets front office isn't the sharpest pencil in the box.  The NBA is a joke; I hope there is a lockout and the fans turn to college ball and don't miss the NBA at (I know I won't).

Since: Aug 8, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:06 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo? -


Need to man up and convince Melo its his best chance at a title. Forget the Glam and shiny lights of the Big Cities, they are nothing more than a distraction. If he wants to improve his image, San Antonio is the way to go. Hang with Duncan and former Spur David Robinson, Improve his image and enhance the legend. He could be in a better position than Lebron James who just is screwing up his own career with this HEAT experiment.  I understand from a fan standpoint, they like the controversy, troubles etc. Since David Robinson, the Spurs have generally been the good guy, blue collar team of the league. (Yes, we finally had a small Tony Parker Blip that left a small tarnish to an otherwise beautiful record) But, they are still the good guys of the league. They are well coached and know how to win. This is what Melo really needs. His Wife and the Glam life just isnt worth the benefits of playing real basketball with a true blue collar team.    Cool

John, Elk Grove, CA

Since: Jun 27, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:36 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

I don't think The Denver front office believes that this is a business. They knew all along Melo only wants to sign with the Knicks. They should have manned up and called the Knicks and said look we will trade you Melo but here is a list of our demands before we turn our star player over to you. They should have asked for the world and then met somewhere in the middle.

Since: Oct 3, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2011 8:54 am

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

We don't know the truth of the matter. Recent reports said that Anthony signing wasn't the hold up, it was Denver agreeing to a deal. But who knows for sure? The story changed every day. Actually, the people who do know are those at the top of the Denver organization. And if Ujiri and Co. blew this, look for them to be on unemployment before too long.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2011 11:18 pm

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Melodrama didn't want to go the Nets anyways...enough said.

Now Nuggets get next to nothing to try to dump him because its clear that Melo doesn't want to stay in Denver and he'll be a unrestricted free agent in 2011-2012.

The only thing is the CBA will not get any results and there a lockout for the next season.

I'd like to see players and owners suffer for their greed.  The NBA is a joke now, I'd like to see players play with some passion and will just have to settle for the NCAA Tourney

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2011 10:23 pm

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

The mistake Denver's management made was not setting a deadline for Melo to give them an answer as to what he wanted.  I know that they were hoping that he would decide to stay in town, but they should have told him that the extension would be pulled off the table without at least some kind of clear answer as to his intentions.  The whole thing could easily have been couched in language to the effect that we'll try to meet your needs, but without any clear direction from you we'll have to act in the best interests of the franchise. 

Leaving an extension on the table for as long as they did without him signing it sends a pretty clear message to me that he wants to be moved.  If he says, look, I'd like you to look into trading me to these 3 specific franchises, then you leave the extension on the table, do the work, and see if you can find a trade that helps everyone.  (And it appears those trades have been available.)  But, if he equivocates, then you have to take the extension off the table because it's the only leverage you have.

Basically, Nuggets management played nice in the hopes that he'd resign with the team, and Melo dicked them around.  (It may not have been intentional on his part.  I have a feeling Melo doesn't really know what he wants, and sways with the winds coming from his wife and representatives.)  But, the truth is, he's left them hanging with his unwillingness to say what he wants.  And, if he isn't going to be helpful, then there's no reason the Nuggets management ought to leave the extension out there. 

I know that taking the extension away means the Knicks will wait until free agency, but there's no other way to work it.  They needed to put at least some pressure on Melo to say he wanted to go to the Knicks AND get his extension.  If he was unwilling to say that, then he deserves to have pissed away the $65 million contract.  And, really, why was it so hard for him to say that?

Ultimately, Denver's not going to get a great deal for him, but if he wasn't going to accept an extension to go to the Nets, they weren't going to get top dollar anyway.  Now, they pretty much have to take the best they can get.  My guess is that they still trade him to the Knicks after he signs an extension because NY isn't going to want him to think they waited so they could get him cheaper.  That's the sort of thing that leaves a bad taste in a player's mouth.

But, if the Mavericks can pony up something better than the Knicks have to offer, Nuggets management should take it.  Because the only one who is ultimately responsible for the SIZE of the contract Melo gets is Melo himself.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2011 10:20 pm

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Dark Horse - Clippers.
I would love to see a starting line up...
Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordon.
Even D. Sterling couldn't wreck that..
With Ryan Gomes, Eric Bledsoe and a Helathy Craig Smith, my Clips wouldn't be such a laughing stock of the league!

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