Trading Carmelo

It would seem that the Denver Nuggets may have to deal Carmelo Anthony. They don’t want to, of course; why would any team trade a top-10 player in this league? But since offering ‘Melo a three-year, $65 million extension back in late June, he has been reluctant to sign. It seems that he is concerned about the team’s direction and competitiveness, with Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson to miss the start of the season with injuries and now Nene pulling out of the worlds. Plus Coach Karl is no guarantee to be on the bench the entire season as he recovers from cancer.

The rumours of ‘Melo being traded started way back, back when Amar’e was going around telling everyone he’d be able to bring Anthony and Chris Paul to New York with him. Chris Paul (apparently) wanted out of New Orleans and ‘Melo was to be a free agent next summer. Of course it would happen. Then, during a toast at ‘Melo’s New York wedding, Chris Paul himself suggested that they’d ‘form their own Big 3’. Then, there was the Nuggets ownership change and new front office put in place – meaning former J.R. Smith fan Mark Warkentien was gone as GM and Smith was instantly on the block. Now, this may be good or bad. It’s bad from a competitive standpoint, but good on the keeping ‘Melo standpoint – there has been talk of ‘Melo and J.R. not getting along.

So anyway, what we can get from all this silliness is that the Nuggets might trade ‘Melo – although incoming GM Masai Ujiri is going to do his best to convince him to stick around (there’s probably 65 million reasons to stay in Denver, I’d think).

Therefore, if it comes to a point where they do indeed trade Anthony, what would be some possible deals they could make? Let’s have a look:

Houston receives: Carmelo Anthony

Denver receives: Shane Battier, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill

Houston made the list of teams that are contender to swing a trade for ‘Melo. It’s probably because they have a good mix of draft picks, young talent and expiring deals. This trade works for mine because Houston get to have a go at seeing how far a Yao/K-Mart/’Melo-led team can take them, while Denver enjoys salary relief and a talented young player. If Denver insisted, I’m sure Houston would consider including Aaron Brooks in the deal rather than Jordan Hill, or the Nuggets may even prefer Patrick Patterson. And of course, whatever draft picks either team needs to include for the deal to go down.

Golden State receives: Carmelo Anthony

Denver receives: Monta Ellis, Dan Gadzuric

Apparently Golden State made that list too, so here’s a deal that can work for both teams. The Warriors add Carmelo to Steph Curry and David Lee to form a pretty talented core, while getting away from Monta; who, with Curry around, is definitely expendable. From the Nuggets perspective, they get a quality young guard who can score a bunch and can even play some pretty good defence, along with an expiring deal with Gadzuric.

New Jersey receives: Carmelo Anthony

Denver receives: Troy Murphy, Terrence Williams

The Yahoo article suggested that the Clippers and the Nets are the most likely teams to get Carmelo. New Jersey certainly has assets to make a play for him – Troy Murphy and his expiring along with Terrence Williams and his immense potential. This trade instantly makes New Jersey a million times better than they were last season, with Anthony teaming with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris to form what would easily be a playoff contender (but not necessarily championship material). For Denver, they get a big man that can fill-in for K-Mart and Birdman while they’re out as well as a rather large contract that expires at seasons end; and an extremely talented young man in Terrence Williams who can form a solid young(ish) core with Ty Lawson and Nene.

So they’re my ideas for trades Denver could make if they have to. I’m not the only guy with trade ideas, however. Sekou Smith at NBA.com suggested a Josh Smith/Jamal Crawford-Carmelo Anthony/J.R. Smith swap after Jamal’s comments earlier in the week.

Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to let me know your thoughts. Cheers.

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