What seemed nearly impossible seven months ago has gradually grown into a dark cloud over the Denver Nuggets team, as Carmelo Anthony’s final days seem to be numbered in Denver.
As once again the MeloDrama has legs and it is turning ugly and deadly as fans witnessed Sunday night when the Nuggets lost to the New Orleans Hornets for their third straight loss.
The original trade that was being discussed in late September (and was rumored close), had the Nuggets dealing Anthony to the New Jersey Nets in a four-way trade centered around Devin Harris going to the Charlotte Bobcats, Boris Diaw going to the Utah Jazz and Andrei Kirilenko and Derrick Favors going to Denver.
Now the rumored deal has grown to 13 players and three teams (Denver, New Jersey and the Detroit Pistons), with Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton added into the discussion – Billups has stated he would want a buyout if dealt. But the deal seems to be held up by the Nuggets once again as Anthony’s agent Leon Rose was pushing for the deal to be done. The trade would look like this:
TRADE: Anthony, Billups, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams
RECEIVE: Derrick Favors, Stephen Graham, Harris, Anthony Morrow, Quinton Ross and Ben Uzoh, 2 first round picks
WHAT WORKS FOR DENVER: First of all, the Nuggets finally get themselves out from under the MeloDrama and the franchise jump starts the rebuilding process for the franchise with a young big in Favors as well as some future picks. They also add a former All-Star point guard (Harris) and a sharpshooter in Morrow, who has a very reasonable contract. The Nuggets would also save nearly $10 million and if rumors are true and Billups gets his buyout, he will return to Denver to finish his career.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK FOR DENVER: The Nuggets would lose the best player in franchise history and will more than likely take a shot in the win-loss column and miss the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They also lose their leader (Billups), who is also the hometown hero.
The Nuggets team would be in disarray, they would have two quality point guards (Harris and Lawson), who each lack range on their jumper. They would have four players on its roster (Morrow, Udoz, Arron Afflalo and JR Smith) who will lineup at shooting guard and also could battle for minutes at small forward as well. Gary Forbes and Graham would be the only true small forward on the roster. The Nuggets would have to decide what to do at power forward, whether to give Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington minutes over Favors or start the rebuilding process early. The only position that probably wouldn’t be affected would be center, where Nene and Chris Andersen minutes would more than likely remain the same. Unless more trades are in the future it would a tough team to watch this season, but small price to pay for the stability of the team’s future. It also would probably mean the end of the George Karl-era (and potentially mean Mike Brown is the future coach of the Nuggets).
PG-Harris/Lawson (Billups too if he returns after the buyout)
TRADE: Favors, Graham, Harris, Morrow, Troy Murphy, Johan Petro, Ross and Uzoh
RECEIVE: Anthony, Billups, Carter, Hamilton and Williams
WHAT WORKS FOR NEW JERSEY: They add a top-10 player and arguably the best scorers in the League and also a group of players that know how to win in the League. Anthony would push the Nets into the playoff talks and would thrive with a big man like Brook Lopez. Hamilton wouldn’t be a bad sidekick. While he is 32, he still is a good midrange shooter and solid defender. He is also one of two players currently the NBA that has one at the college (1999 with Connecticut and was also the Outstanding player) and at the professional level (Detroit in 2004). And if Billups decides to join the Nets, they could be a dangerous team in the playoffs. While the Nets are probably a ways from being at the Heat or Celtics level, adding Anthony would help the squad potentially land Deron Williams or Chris Paul in the future.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK FOR NEW JERSEY: It doesn’t make much sense for the Nets to make the deal if Billups doesn’t come. They also would lack an ideal starter at point guard and would be forced to start Farmar. And if Billups does come it doesn’t seem like the right fit to surround Anthony around two elder statesman. And Hamilton’s contract (to go along with Travis Outlaw’s contract) would hurt the Nets chances of landing Paul or Williams. They also would be down to 10 players, two less than what teams usually carry for each game. But again small price to pay to land one of the best players in the League.
RECEIVE: Murphy and Petro
WHAT WORKS FOR DETROIT: They get themselves out from under Hamilton’s contract and get a double-double player in return in Murphy and a young center in Petro.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK FOR DETROIT: While the Pistons will miss Hamilton’s scoring, the only downfall for the Pistons is bringing on Petro’s contract. But Petro’s contract isn’t really that bad.
C-Ben Wallace/Petro/Greg Monroe/Chris Wilcox
PF-Murphy/Charlie Villanueva/Jonas Jerebko/Jason Maxiell
SF-Tayshaun Prince/Austin Daye/Dajuan Summers*
SG-Tracy McGrady/Ben Gordon
PG-Rodney Stuckey/Will Bynum/Terrico White*
*-may be in trade
Topics: Anthony Carter, Anthony Morrow, Arron Afflalo, Ben Uzoh, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Chris Andersen, Chris Paul, Denver Nuggets, Deron Williams, Derrick Favors, Detroit Pistons, Devin Harris, George Karl, Johan Petro, JR Smith, Mike Brown, Nene, New Jersey Nets, Quinton Ross, Richard Hamilton, Shelden Williams, Stephen Graham, Troy Murphy