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NBA / Aug 17, 2010 / 2:00 pm

Dear Denver: Don’t Trade Carmelo

Carmelo Anthony, Dime #53

As cryptically suggestive as he may have tried to be in a Twitter post last night — “Funny how people come up with their own analysis of a situation. I tell you boy … Unbelievable”Carmelo Anthony can’t blame the public and the media for spinning our own theories on his future plans.

This much we all know: The Denver Nuggets have extended ‘Melo a three-year, $65 million contract extension offer, and ‘Melo has yet to sign it. If I had to bet on it, I’d say he’s at least leaning heavily toward leaving.

Given the facts, it’s easy to speculate where this is going. ‘Melo doesn’t want to commit to another three years in Denver when he doesn’t have to, and with his good friends LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh having formed a “super-team” in Miami this summer, ‘Melo is planning to move to New York to play with Amar’e Stoudemire and possibly Tony Parker or Chris Paul, another good friend of his.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ‘Melo doesn’t owe the Nuggets anything. He is fully within his rights not to sign an extension and leave his options open next summer. And for a player who has seen his journey end in the first round of the playoffs six times in his seven pro seasons, he’d be crazy NOT to at least explore the possibility of joining a Madison Square Garden juggernaut, which just happens to be close to his Brooklyn birthplace.

In the meantime, popular sentiment is growing that the Nuggets need to trade Carmelo ASAP. It would be a proactive move: Rather than lose ‘Melo in free agency (for nothing in return) next summer, trade him now (or during the season) and at least get something in return — be it draft picks, veterans, young talent or financial relief, or a combination of all three. And in theory, it’s the smartest move. The Nuggets doesn’t want to end up like the Raptors, who let Bosh walk away for nothing when it was pretty clear during the season that he wasn’t going to stay in Toronto. According to today’s Denver Post, the team has been “quietly gauging interest” from teams for the last few weeks about a ‘Melo trade.

But in this instance, Denver should not operate according to conventional wisdom. Will ‘Melo leave at the end of the season? Very likely. But the team shouldn’t trade him, because doing so would cancel out Denver’s best chance (perhaps ever) of winning an NBA championship.

Yes, the Nuggets can win a title in 2011. Their biggest competition in the West is vulnerable: Kobe Bryant‘s two-time defending champion Lakers are older, under more pressure to win, and at some point injuries will become a real problem for a team that has gone all the way to the Finals three years in a row. The Suns, who advanced to the conference finals this year, are weaker without Amar’e. The Jazz, who knocked Denver out in the first round this year, are weaker without Carlos Boozer and Wes Matthews.

The Nuggets may be stronger than ever this upcoming season, and at the same time, this might be their last good run as presently constructed. Chauncey Billups is still playing at an elite level at 33 years old, but he can’t keep it up forever. Kenyon Martin is still an impact starter at 32 years old, but coming off another surgery, his time is running out. Nene, Birdman Andersen, Al Harrington J.R. Smith are as good as they’re ever going to get. Head coach George Karl‘s health is an obvious factor. Looking at the Nuggets’ rotation outside of ‘Melo, the only players you could argue are going to get better than they are right now are Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson.

But this team goes nowhere without ‘Melo. He’s the superstar, the go-to guy, and as clutch as Chauncey is and as much of a leader as Chauncey is, ‘Melo is the guy who will bring a championship to Denver. Don’t get it mistaken: If the Nuggets trade ‘Melo, there’s no way they will get equal value back, especially if teams know Denver really wants to trade their best player. The post-‘Melo roster will inevitably be worse than the with-‘Melo roster, and guaranteed the Nuggets without ‘Melo won’t be in contention for a 2011 championship.

So if winning is really the most important thing here, the Nuggets should keep ‘Melo. Play it out, let him put up his 25-30 points per game this season, and who knows? A deep playoff run may be enough to convince ‘Melo to stay in town.

But even if it’s not, and ‘Melo is bent on leaving for New York (or wherever) no matter what, at least you took your shot when you had sufficient ammunition in the chamber. By giving The Franchise away now, you’re ensuring the franchise will go another year — at least another year — without claiming the ultimate prize.

-Follow Austin on Twitter at @AustinBurton206
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  • Heckler

    Im not so sure I agree with your outlook Austin. Although, I do agree that the Nuggs are already the 2nd best team in the west. even though they got bounced in the 1st round (again) last year, I see them better than Dallas, OKC, Utah, SanAn, Portland and the rest.

    But if they have a chance to trade Carmelo Anthony for anything, they might as well go ahead and do it. Orlando Magic let Shaq walk away and it took a decade for them to recover. Cleveland will take 8-11yrs to recover from LeBron leaving. Philly traded Allen Iverson to Denver for Joe Smith, Andre Miller and cap relief—outcome—Philly was in the playoffs the very NEXT season!

    not to mention, the Nuggs have Carmelo, Birdman, Nene and Kenyon Martin coming off the books next year.

  • That’s What’s Up

    New York doesn’t play defense anymore so it makes sense he would end up there.

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Then this needs to be followed by a letter telling Melo to leave.

    I don’t get it, if one is supporting Lebron in leaving then why ask Melo to stay.

    For all the reasons Melo should stay, a person could come up with that many or more reasons Lebron should have stayed.

    I say if you supported Lebron leaving then you shouldn’t find no probs. with Melo shooting the deuces.

    If you were against Lebron jetting then by all means you might feel Melo should stay.

    And really the Nuggs will be as worn as the Lakers by playoff time. I see no advantages of him staying that won’t equal the same results as before.

    And for the Nuggs they better get their trade on while he is looking good. Forbid injury happen then he is not wanted as he is now.

    For both sides sometimes you just need to let go. Hear that Utah?

  • Heckler

    also,

    no of you should rule out Carmelo Anthony being dealt in a sign-n-trade to the ……Washington Wizards for Gilber Arenas.

    Carmelo is an east coast guy. with Javale McGee, Andray Blatche and of course, John Wall..DC would be a good spot for Carmelo to land if he leaves Denver. I am not convinced he’s going to NY if he leaves Denver.

    Carmelo is from DC/Baltimore area. and for chance to ball with (a young) John Wall for the next 6yrs, he’d probably be in a better position to win with the Wiz in 3yrs than he would be in NY.

  • http://freshouttatime.blogspot.com freshouttatime

    your argument hinges on too many whatifs for denver to be successful in winning a ring. yes phx and the jazz are weaker, but dallas will come back with fire, durant and squad will be a thorn in the side of anyone in the 1st round, and to say that the lakers may succumb to pressure of 3 loong seasons is pulling teeth.
    seemingly melo has no incentive championship wise this year to stay with denver, if other things come into play, his relationship with management, personal attachment to the city, teammates- then sure let him stick around.
    otherwise give it a shot somewhere else, give boston and miami’s big threes a run for their money and form another beast in the east.

    signed,
    desperate ny fan

  • jwhit45

    The West is VERY thin…the Nuggets need another piece to the puzzle though…they are the 2nd best team but can they beat the Lakers?

  • The Other Aj

    I think I agree with you a little bit AB, I didn’t realize that this is a good year for the nuggets. The west is definitely weaker (except for the lakers, and maybe the thunder) every other team in the west took a step back. Even dallas won’t be what they could be with a broken Roddy buckets…

    Ultimately though with all these guys (Melo, LBJ, etc) winning solves everything. If Denver goes back to the western conference finals or even the finals I think Melo signs that extenstion. If it looks closer to another 1st round exit, he’s gone…

  • The Other Aj

    @ #4,

    I’m going to have to pull a Lebron on you…The DC area and the Bmore area are different. It’s about 40 – 50 miles away. People from DC do not claim Bmore dudes…case closed.

  • NYK

    as a knick fan i will never forget him clocking Mardy Collins and running back like a pussy.

    but yes. i want melo in ny.

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com/2010/07/lebron-james-is-not-jesus.html#more haslem

    gotta say I agree. The Nuggets are in a good situation and lately all the superstar trades seem to be 30 cents on the dollar at best. Might as well go for it. (They are a darkhorse)

  • matula

    Je pense que Melo doit signer cette extension car je pense que les Nuggets sont meilleurs que OKC,Dallas,Portland et le reste.J’espere aussi qu’ils vont resigner J.R Smith a la fin de la saison prochaine.

  • Joe’s Momma

    The smart move for the Nuggs would be to trade for a player who can help them win. If Melo doesn’t sign the extension, there is no guarantee that NY will be able to pay him next year. So unless he is willing to potentially take a massive pay cut, it is a good bet Denver will be able to keep him. But they need to continue to try and get better.

    I think Melo must feel stupid after signed for 5 yrs after the trio in Miami only re-upped for 3 post rookie deals.

    Denver needs one more piece, and it needs to be a back to the basket big who can compliment their bigs. Nene doesn’t assert himself on the block. KMart doesn’t have a post up game. Birdman doesn’t have any offensive game. And Al Harrington is a perennial looser and chucker who doesn’t play defense or rebound.

    If Melo walks, Denver will just start over. Billups will be bought out for the 3+mil buyout option they have in his contract and let Lawson try to be the pg. Martin coming off the books, same for JR Swish.

    Denver needs to do their part to get a steal of a deal in order to save their franchise. Like Lakers did with Pau, how Cleveland thought they did with Jamison. Something like that, a gift from a sorry team trying to save some dough.

    If Melo is dealt, it would be the smart move because they can be left high and dry like the Cavs and Toronto. but still a dumb move because they will get pennies on the dollar, and you can’t replace a guy like Melo.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    DEAR DIME,
    Get on this Lebron article ASAP. I’m sure you’ve heard about the release and his response to Gilbert, Barkley and others.
    I’m surprised the Wagoneer(AB) hasn’t posted an article yet.

  • Heckler

    @ Austin–

    what if the Pacers put together a package to get Carmelo Anthony?…would you be on board for that?

    package could include: TJ Ford, Paul George and Jeff Foster

  • Whatdahec

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ‘Melo doesn’t owe the Nuggets anything. He is fully within his rights not to sign an extension and leave his options open next summer.”

    Um, yeah, and the Nuggets don’t owe him anything, either. If he doesn’t sign the extension, then dump him off for something good in return…it’s just business.

  • Stokely

    If Carmello wants to go he should go. He doesn’t get enough love in my opinion. Maybe if he pushed LaLa down the stairs and stomped her face like lance stephenson the born fuckup he could get some love from DIME.

  • The Journeyman

    DC Hate BALTIMORE people…

    they suck; and are extra ghetto

    and the bay makes em smell like crabs

  • Detroit Dave

    Wishful thinking on my part. Pistons trade Rip and Charlie V for Carmelo. It actually worked on ESPN’s trade machine.

    Rashard Lewis or Vince Carter for Melo.

    How about Utah packaging AK-47 and some bums for Melo.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Heckler — Of course I would.

  • Shot In Your Face

    Get ready for NY to pathetically ride Melo’s nuts like they did LeBroad.

    “Come on Melo!” campaign coming soon!

  • EN FUEGO

    Trade Kenyon for Elton and give the Nugs and Sixers a boost and both players a change of scenery. The two have the same salaries this year, so it’ll work for the trade machine.

  • http://www.uneedathink.wordpress.com uneeda

    I (heart) melo for a long time.

    After watching him fall apart and cry like a baby in the playoffs …

    Hit the road jack, we want winner’s! Not whinners………

  • K Dizzle

    Dear Denver,
    man up and trade Melo YESTERDAY.
    Dude put his house up for sale and ain’t signin the extension.
    I didn’t know crack prices dropped so much that anybody could get it and start thinkin ish like “Denver has a chance to win a chip if Melo stays”
    They ain’t beatin the “older” Lakers, they ain’t beatin the healthy Blazers, they ain’t beatin the Spurs and they ain’t beatin the Mavss. If they even think about gettin thru that gauntlet, then they damn sure ain’t beatin the Heat, the Celts or the Magic.
    Know when to say when. Dude is leavin. Stop delayin rebuilding by one year and cut bait.You want a better deal? Tell Melo to sign the extension n then trade him. The team gettin him gets him locked up for at least 3 seasons meanin they give the Nuggets more back in return. Melo gotta choose his team for this to work, but call up New York and see how much they really like Chandler, Gallo or Randolph…

    Play it out and see what happens?
    After 6 outta 7 playoff appearances ended in the 1st round?
    Worst advice ever…

  • WinDelRoj

    The Nuggets will have all the cap room in the world after the upcoming season is over. Birdman, Balkman and Lawson being the only 3 under contract after that. They could put together a team then, emphasis on could. Does he love Denver? Does Denver really care about basketball (Avalanche and Broncos prob have better fan bases)? Im saying he leaves but at least Denver will have the room to sign some people to at least not go into the lottery immediately after…

  • dredre

    proposal possible trade idea: vince carter, rashard lewis, jameer nelson, brandon bass and draft picks for melo, kmart, and billups

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=2d2z8b4

    magic become the nba’s best team, nuggets can still compete, while having nelson, bass, and lawson develop. vince carter’s contract comes off the books in two years, nuggets get cap relief, melo can win championship in orlando

    end of story-Dre

  • Mike Mihalow

    Where’s the “Carmelo to the Lakers for their bad contracts/players” trade scenario? You Lakers fans are slacking on me.

  • http://www.more-sports.net andrew macaluso

    As the biggest Carmelo fan, I agree 100% Austin.

  • Coney Islander

    As a life long Knick fan and a life long Brooklyn boy, we don’t want Carmello…we NEED Carmello, point blank period. We’ve been too bad for too long. We Need this BAD!

  • WinDelRoj

    You know at first that Orlando trade sounded ridiculous. But thats actually perfect. It makes too much sense so its not going to happen. Denver still doesnt get a big man though. Orlando becomes a better team since its not like Vince or Rashard were going to play D.. ever

  • Deez Nutz

    If im Denver, i dont care where he wants to go, im trading him for the best value. Trade him for Chris Paul then ship out Billups for some decent players.

  • Deez Nutz

    Maybe do a Elton brand, Andre Iguodala trade.

  • Deez Nutz

    Carmelo for Bynum and Odom

  • daghost

    @30-what would be the point of that? New Orleans knows melo would just dip on them come offseason so what’s the point? and melo’s plan is to join up with paul. Not to be traded FOR him lol…

  • Deez Nutz

    @daghost mostly just to fuck wit them both for trying to pull strings and work there way to new york

  • Claw

    Not feeling Denver being 2nd best, Dallas, Thunder, and also the Jazz haven’t taken a step backward, Al Jefferson gives them a better inside game and have Okur back after being injured last year they look to take another step forward.

    Let Melo goto NY, actually the Wiz trade sounds better, but the Chicago trade was better for Lebron but he wanted to play with his “friends”.

    Superfriends – Would Wade or Lebron be Superman? Wade might be more Batman, smarter than Superman who was from another planet (team).

    Bosh could be one of the Wonder Twins – form of a PF that can’t guard a stop sign – Wonder Twin powers activate!

  • KnicksFan84

    Melo will be a Knick, plain and simple. Now if they substitute Chandler instead of Gallinari in the deal and I’m all for it.

  • CTP

    I can’t wait for the Jazz to shut everyone up again. They got weaker by losing Boozer? How about they got stronger by losing a undersized finesse PF and gained a big who can pack it in the paint while Millsap does the same thing Boozer was doing, and Okur is coming off the bench. Also, Raja Bell is just as good as Matthews.

  • Drew S

    It’s beyond me why Melo would leave the Nuggets to go to the Knicks.The Nuggets have a much better team and would’ve have swept the season series from the Lakers (3-0)last season instead of the(2-1)if Ty Lawson didn’t get hurt in that 3rd game they played against the Lakers and wasn’t able to play the whole 2nd half.The Lakers aren’t unbeatable and the Nuggets can take them in a playoff series with a sg.Afflalo who can score and play D “make Kobe work on D and for his points.Backup pg.Lawson who killed the Laker pg’s last season along with another 15+ppg scorer in Harrington coming off the bench,the Nuggets top 9 players are by far better than the Lakers top 9…

  • Mike Mihalow

    lol, there it is, Deez Nutz.