The Denver Nuggets have to trade Carmelo Anthony in the next few weeks. It has to happen. Anthony doesn’t want to be there and will depart via free agency this offseason anyway. A trade is the only way the Nuggets will get anything in return for him. We all know this. The question is, can Denver get fair value for Melo from anyone out there?
Well, as recently as a few weeks ago it appeared the Nuggets were close to shipping Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for a very attractive package, if they could just add a team or two to swap superfluous contracts with. That deal has since died, leaving very few options for the Nuggets.
The only viable destination remaining is the New York Knicks, and frankly, the package they offer in return has never blown Denver’s skirt up. A trade to New York would satisfy Anthony, who wants to play there, but can the Knicks really put a deal together with what they currently possess on the roster?
Despite previous reports that Denver wasn’t interested in 21-year-old big man Anthony Randolph, it appears the Nuggets are warming to him. Recently rumors swirled that Randolph was on his way to either Minnesota, Indiana or Portland in return for a first round pick. That pick would then be used to sweeten a deal for Anthony. Apparently the Nuggets now want him.
Randolph hasn’t played much this year for the Knicks. He’s gotten in just 14 games and is averaging a paltry 7.9 minutes and 2.0 points per game. This comes after playing in 33 games for Golden State last year during which he averaged 22.7 minutes, 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He appeared to be a rising force last year but Mike D’Antoni hasn’t seen fit to use him this season.
With New Jersey out of the mix for Anthony at this point, Denver’s personnel people have begun to take a harder look at the Knicks’ young players.
There would likely have to be another team involved in any Knicks-Nuggets trade, as New York simply doesn’t have enough pieces (draft picks and young players) on its own to make a mega-deal. But if the Nuggets have changed their mind on Randolph, that could be a huge step towards getting something done.