Since August the Denver Nuggets have been handcuffed by the MeloDrama.
But come Monday night when the ink dried on the deal that would send Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks a big weight was lifted from the Nuggets and their fans.
Sure they did just deal their franchise player, a player which has led them to seven consecutive playoff appearances, and also arguably the best player to don on a Nuggets jersey. And they also dealt Denver native and fan-favorite Chauncey Billups. But they also got much more than anticipated.
Denver dealt Anthony, Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams to New York. And in the process they received Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, the Knicks’ 2014 first round draft pick, Golden State’s second round picks in 2013 and 2014.
The Knicks also traded Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Corey Brewer. And also $3 million to buyout Curry’s contract.
And before the dust settles (which it hasn’t just yet) the Nuggets roster currently stands at 13 players and looks like this:
- Mozgov, C
- Nene Hilario, PF/C
- Chris Andersen, C
- Melvin Ely, C
- Kenyon Martin, PF
- Al Harrington, PF
- Danilo Gallinari, SF
- Wilson Chandler, Forward
- Gary Forbes, SF
- Arron Afflalo, SG
- JR Smith, SG
- Raymond Felton, PG
- Ty Lawson, PG
Rumor has it that Felton may be dealt for a first, and after while the Anthony trade went down. There was a possibility of a three-way trade which would send Felton to the New Jersey Nets, the Nets than would send Devin Harris to the Dallas Mavericks and the Nuggets could possibly return Rodrigue Beaubois.
There is a slim chance that Felton stays, he is also another North Carolina player much like Nuggets’ coach George Karl. He also is familiar with Lawson. And he plays this concept called defense, which is new to the Nuggets.
While many see this as a sign of the Nuggets rebuilding, it seems Denver was really trying to cut salaries and also stay competitive.
Buy dealing Anthony, Billups (and Balkman) the Nuggets saved nearly $17 million and got under the luxury tax. And while rumors flew that the Nuggets wanted to trade Gallinari and Mozgov to the Nets for picks, it seems the Nuggets want to keep the duo and start rebuilding with youth.
Gallinari is only 22 years old, Chandler is 23, Mozgov 24 and Felton is 26. Combine that with the Nuggets core of Lawson, who is 23, Nene 28, Afflalo 25 and Smith who is also 25 and could still be dealt.
The Nuggets are in the works of getting an extension with Nene and this move also ensures that Karl will sign an extension as this gives the Nuggets a team that will compete now and also in the future.
The move also brings the D back to Denver. Mozgov, who isn’t a great defender will help with his size. Chandler and Gallinari should help at the forwards and Felton was one of the few in New York that played defense.
While it is hard to predict the starting lineups with moves left to be made, here is what it might look like:
*-could still be traded
Tags: Amare Stoudemire Anthony Carter Arron Afflalo Birdman Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen Dallas Mavericks Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Gary Forbes George Karl J.R. Smith JR Smith Kenyon Martin Melo Nene New Jersey Nets New York Knicks North Carolina Raymond Felton Renaldo Balkman Shelden Williams Tar Heels Timofey Mozgov Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler