Melo On The Move?

May 19, 2008 – 12:02 pm by Ryan Phillips

I love when the NBA Draft comes because it typically means the league’s landscape is about to change. Players move like crazy in the days leading up to and following the draft, as teams reshuffle their rosters depending on the young talent they score. But rarely is there a big time blockbuster. We were lucky enough to see two last year, the Celtics snagged Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in separate summer time deals. But most offseason deals are of the salary shuffling variety or are meant to open up time for young, emerging talent.

Well, today there are reports that a huge deal of the “completely change two franchises” variety might be on the horizon.

The Record
and ESPN are both reporting that multiple league sources have confirmed that the Nets and Nuggets are discussing a deal that would send Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby to New Jersey. The returning package would include Richard Jefferson, Marcus Williams, Keith Van Horn’s expiring contract (from the Jason Kidd-to-Dallas deal) and the Nets’ lottery pick. Those are the principle elements in the deal, though there are likely more pieces involved to make the salaries work. The deal could go down soon, but apparently Tuesday’s draft lottery is of the utmost importance to any potential move.

The Nets currently hold a 1.1 percent chance of landing the top pick in the draft and a 4 percent chance of jumping into the top three. As long as they don’t fall out of the 10th spot that they’re currently slotted at, the deal shouldn’t have any roadblocks other than the Nuggets getting cold feet.

According to the report, Nets team president Rod Thorn and general manager Kiki Vandeweghe have been gauging interest in Jefferson, Williams and their picks since their season ended last month.

If I were the Nets I’d be a little hesitant about doing this deal. If the Nuggets are willing to let Anthony go, it should tell them something. The guy was supposed to be the team’s franchise player for the next decade and they’re going to send him away? The Iverson-Anthony combo has obviously not worked out, but the fact that they’d choose to keep AI and send Melo is very telling. Anthony is supremely talented, and he’s coming off a year in which he averaged 25.7 ppg – 7.4 rpg -3.4 ast, numbers way above his career averages of 24.4 – 6.0 – 3.0. He also shot 49 percent from the field and 35 percent from three, well above his career marks of 46 percent and 29 percent. He appears to be improving his game, and at 23-year-old, should have his best years in front of him.

Obviously the Nuggets feel something is missing. The whispers around the league for years have questioned Anthony’s commitment to the game and his competitiveness. Does he have that singular drive to win that guys like LeBron, Kobe and Jordan have displayed? It hasn’t manifested itself as of yet. When you throw in his on and off court problems (stopped for having marijuana is his bag at Denver International Airport, the Stop Snitchin’ video, his 15-game suspension for the brawl with the Knicks and his recent DUI arrest) you have to think the Nuggest feel Melo may just not be worth the headache and the four-years and roughly $65 million left on his contract.

This deal would surely excite Nets fans, and if the long-term goal is to attempt to lure LeBron James to Brooklyn when the Nets move in 2011-2012, maybe bringing in his good buddy Melo is part of the plan. Jay-Z’s relationship with LeBron has certainly laid the groundwork, maybe this deal is step two.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Melo On The Move?”

  2. that would be retarted to take melo! he is immature and was given enough time to prove himself and he didnt. hes a great starter but not a franchise player. and who dares put him with the likes of jordan and kobe? maybe his playmate lebron, another baby

    By Anonymous on May 19, 2008

  3. I think its more “retarded” that you can’t spell retarded while bashing someones stupidity.

    By Anonymous on May 19, 2008

  4. These must be the same geniuses that felt giving up Deng for Pau was too much. If NJ even has a semi decent chance to land Melo and don’t, Kiki will be fired.

    By The wondering Mind on May 19, 2008

  5. I’m just saying that they should pause before taking Melo. I don’t think they’d be giving up too much, I just wonder if Anthony is the kind of guy they want to build their franchise around.

    By Phillips on May 19, 2008

  6. as a Nets fan I rather have Melo and his baggage rather than settle on mediocrity

    By angelgr89 on May 19, 2008

  7. I think its crazy because melo doesnt knw the definition of defense so pick him take him if u want he is a defensive liability.

    By Daryl Baker ( St Louis ) on May 19, 2008

  8. I am absolutely amazed that the Nuggets are considering this. Carmelo Anthony is one of the best scorers in the game. Before the Iverson trade last year, he was averaging 32 ppg on 50% shooting. He needs to play with a good, pass-first point guard (like Andre Miller). He’s much more of a finisher than a playmaker (unlike LeBron and Wade, for example), which can be a good thing as long because it lets everyone be more efficient in their role (as long as you have the right PG).

    He’s not a particularly good defender, but (even if it is because they’re overhyped) top 5 scorers are SO much harder to get than great defenders. Guys like Bruce Bowen and Ben Wallace can get picked up as undrafted free agents. You build around the scorer, and besides, his defense can get better because he’s so damn young.

    Do people really think he’s not a winner? Then they’re forgetting about the national championship he lead his team to at Syracuse. People are salivating about Derrick Rose because he almost accomplished what Carmelo did. And the “character concerns” are totally ridiculous. Driving drunk was an act of bad judgement, but not indicative of the type of person he is. Read the interview with his trainer on to get an example of what I’m talking about.

    The Nuggets roster is horribly mismatched right now, but your 23-year old superstar NCAA champion is not the guy to get rid of. I have nothing against Allen Iverson, but he is not the right guy to get the most out of this team. They need to get a real point guard and build around Carmelo and Nene.

    By Anonymous on May 20, 2008

  9. I have to agree with the person above me. The only reason I could see getting rid of Melo is to free cap room which is why the are getting rid of Camby, a center who isnt a offense-post player and is at his best shooting midrange jumpers.

    Keeping Iverson says that they are really only looking to free cap and hope that they come along either a star player or get a high draft pick, which while they could get a more complete player, like one good at defense, you aren’t going to come along a Carmelo Anthony or a LeBron James although im not saying Anthony has been as good as James.

    Being a Nuggets fan, i hope they find a way to keep him, but someone has to go and the logical choice seems to be Camby.

    They really need a decent point guard. Ty Lawson seems like a good option as the rumor is that they are watching him. If they make no deal, they should put Iverson at point, which while that hasnt worked, they put him there and tell him they expect 10 assists a night.

    Of course getting rid of Camby would mean they need a new center, which where they are in the draft is also a good option.

    By Anonymous on May 20, 2008

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