The Denver Nuggets have a problem; its name is Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony has a problem, its called doing what he feels is right for himself and his playing career.
Both sides have a solution to their problem; unfortunately no one wants to come to a common ground.
Carmelo wants out of Denver and into New York. Denver knows they will lose him and want to get something for him instead of letting him walk free of charge in July 2011. Yes I know I what you’re thinking, this is definitely a pain in the neck. You see both sides have a point. Both sides are trying to do what’s best for them.
Carmelo Anthony has been very upfront about his future and knows what he wants and where he wants to go. Unlike LeBron James and the silly games that he played on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carmelo has let it be known that he will not sign with the Nuggets and intends to take his talents to the Big Apple. Denver knowing this has still given Carmelo an option for extending his deal for three years and 65 million dollars, which Melo has denied over and over.
Is he being unreasonable? No. He’s not trashing the team in the media, he’s not being surly to my knowledge, and his main objective in his own words is doing what’s best for him. Maybe he sees the future around him in Denver and he’s not a fan of it.
Maybe he sees J.R. Smith still chucking up bad three’s, the fading skills of Chauncey Billups and a team that besides him has no real direction on where they want to go (want proof? Look at the Al Harrington deal.). Maybe it isn’t because his wife LaLa Vazquez wants to be closer to New York City, which is her home (no that definitely has a part in it, ask Janet Jones Gretzky). Maybe Carmelo really understands what his future holds and doesn’t like what it looks like in Denver.
Think about a this for a minute; yes if he turns down a 3 year/ 65 million dollar deal he risks losing the bigger annual salary when the new CBA is in place, but has that really mattered in his decision making? Everything is about the money when it boils down to it no matter what anyone says; yet Melo knows this and its not factoring into his decision. If it did then he would’ve signed that extension in Denver or in New Jersey where the biggest trade talks are coming from.
He looks at New Jersey and is thinking the same thing about them that he thinks about Denver. Do I really want to play with 33 year-old Rip Hamilton, 34 year-old Chauncey Billups, no point guard and Brook Lopez who has taken a step back this year? Hell, no!
That’s why he’s being so stubborn. The money isn’t the big deal for him, it’s the situation that matters and if it isn’t the right one then he wont do it.
Unfortunately for him and the Nuggets it’s costing him fan support in Denver. Melo has been booed in the Nuggets last two home games including the 130-102 beat down of Miami last night. Should the fans be upset? Yes, they should. How would you feel if the guy that brought your franchise the most success its ever seen all of a sudden wants to leave town? It’s a double-edged sword for Melo; you cant everything your way no matter how hard you try. In the end you do have to do what’s right for you, but don’t expect everyone to be happy about it and understand.
So what should the Nuggets do with the hard-standing all-star? Trade him to the Knicks like he wants? To the Nets who give you the best offer? Or take it as a loss and do what you can with him right now?
I don’t get the Nuggets claims that the Knicks have nothing that they want. I mean have you seen Landry Fields ballin’ lately or maybe Danilo Galinari when he’s healthy? With that said, the Nuggets should NOT give in to Melo’s wants and should do what’s best for them as Melo is doing for him. It’s also about perception. The last thing that NBA GM’s wants to see is another team giving in to a player’s demands. They’d rather go all Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas and treat those kinds of players like Morrie.
(Side note: if I’m the Knicks, there is no way in hell I trade for Carmelo right now. As a fan I want him on the Knicks, but looking at the team why would you mess this chemistry up right now? Would you really want to trade either Galinari or Anthony Randolph and throw in Fields? Hell no! Wait until the off-season. Melo isn’t signing with the Nets if he’s smart and you’ll get him for free. Plus you save those assets for a possible trade with the Hornets for Chris Paul next year, it makes perfect sense not to outbid the Nets for Carmelo or try and sell the Nuggets on taking O.J. Mayo from Memphis. Practice patience and what a year is what they should do, but this is New York… patience? Please.)
The Nuggets should try and get the Nets deal done as their best option. Derrick Favors fits in perfectly with their offensive scheme and Devin Harris would hold down the point guard slot until Ty Lawson takes over. What they should not do is go for the Knicks O.J. Mayo deal. The last thing the Nuggets need is another shot-chucking head case running around.
However, the best option might come from the Consequence mixtape Take em to the Cleaners… take it as a loss.
If Carmelo ain’t signing then he ain’t signing. If the Knicks deal isn’t there then do it. You might as well take advantage of a top-heavy Western Conference and try to get a 4 or 5 seed and see how far you can go. People may too much of trying to get something for someone before they leave, will Harris, Favors or that draft pick make a difference for your team this year or next? It probably won’t. So you might as well keep what you got and see where it takes you. It’s not like if Carmelo leaves then the Nuggets turn into the Cavaliers. They’re still a competitive team with or without Carmelo Anthony, just not the contenders that they have been.
It’ll be interesting to see how this scenario plays out. We all know Carmelo isn’t staying, where is he going? Will he buckle and go to the Nets? Will he stay in Denver and wait to go to New York next year? Or will he be in N.Y. before the deadline? Hopefully both sides can come together with a solution and do what’s best for both sides.