When there were rumors of a seven-team, multi-player, multi-million dollar deal on the table that would have traded Anthony to the Nets and Denver would have received a lineup of new players, I was excited. Denver seemed to be going in the right direction in trading Anthony in that deal. Denver seemed to be asking a lot for Anthony.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, like a villain in a classic James Bond move, ended those trade negotiations after he decided the deal was going the wrong way for his team. It was then that I thought Denver would hang onto Anthony for the rest of the season and make a realistic push to the NBA Finals.
All this time, we all thought Melo was going to head East, either to the Knicks or New Jersey. So just this week, here comes the Los Angeles Lakers, who are interested in a straight-up trade for Carmelo by sending center Andrew Bynum to Denver.
When will all this trade speculation end? It was ESPN that first reported that the Lakers and the Nuggets are in “preliminary discussions” on the trade. What the hell does “preliminary discussions” mean? Is there a deal ready to go through or not?
Why Lakers coach Phil Jackson is interested in Carmelo Anthony is beyond me. I know Bynum has been lackluster lately, but trading him to the Nuggets will do the Lakers no good in the playoffs, especially when they take on Shaq and the Celtics. The Lakers will lose the size they need to beat Boston. So why do it?
I guess I shouldn’t care why the Lakers would want Melo. Why does Denver want Andrew Bynum? Does Denver need another big? Two years ago, I would have said hell no, I am happy with Nene down in the paint. He was one of the youngest, most underrated bigs in the NBA. Now I’m not so sure. I am not so sure he has that fire to be an elite center in the NBA when he’s needed to lead a team in the NBA post season. Maybe Bynum needs a change from L.A. Maybe a competition between Bynum and Nene will finally give Denver some big man presence in the post season? Is that what’s needed this season?
And while the Lakers currently have the Melo spotlight, don’t count out the New York Knicks. According to the New York Daily News, Knicks owner James Dolan is willing to make Denver a multi-player offer to bring Carmelo to The Big Apple.
Whatever is going to happen, it’s going to happen by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. If Melo isn’t traded, this should be the year the Nuggets make a serious push to the NBA Finals. It could be Denver’s last best chance for a while – not because Melo’s time is limited in Denver, but because head coach George Karl’s time is limited on the court.
These are exciting days for the Nuggets. It’s like they have the West’s biggest golden nugget with Anthony and they have the power to shop it around the entire league. Everybody knows Anthony’s wife La La Vsquez can’t stand another season in Denver. She needs the big city; whether is New York or Los Angeles, who knows?
Sometimes I think Denver needs to ship Melo out of town as soon as possible to any team offering up a deal. Get him out of Denver as soon as possible. His entire team knows he doesn’t want to be there. Yes, they are professional about it, but since Denver sits in third place in the Northwest Division, you have to wonder if how much Melo is affecting the entire team’s performance.
Of course, just when you want to kick him out as soon as possible, Melo will go and drop 50 points like he did on Monday against the Rockets. The guy can be a scoring machine?
Perhaps Denver needs to keep in mind that if they do trade Melo to Los Angeles, if they are going to make it to the finals they are going to have to go through both Melo and Kobe Bryant to do so. I say send him packing back East, and take our chances with whoever comes to Denver.
I do know that I can’t wait for this trade deadline to come. This Melo-drama has gone on long enough.