Featured Gallery, NBA, Pat's Sixers Blog / Jan 20, 2011 / 10:00 am

The Perfect Carmelo Anthony Trade

When the once-inevitable Nets/Nuggets deal that would have sent Carmelo Anthony east publicly fell apart yesterday afternoon, a glimmer of hope must have shot through several NBA front offices and fan bases. Unless breaking off negotiations is a bluff from Mikhail Prokhorov to get some sort of last-second concessions from Melo and/or the Nuggets (which it very well could be), the door now appears to be open for another team to step in and snag Carmelo.

As the Nuggets gauge Melo interest levels throughout the league, there is one team that I think can make a simple deal for Carmelo that makes everyone happy.

The Philadelphia 76ers have the pieces to satisfy Denver. I also don’t think they are in a place where they have to get Melo to agree to a contract extension for the trade work for them. In its most basic form, Philly would send Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young in exchange for Melo. No third team. No complicated 17-player blockbuster transaction. Just this straight up swap. Here’s why it works for both sides:

Denver is never, ever going to get anything close to equal value in return for Carmelo. There is just too much working against them; the leverage other teams have on Denver is too significant. So in that sense, anything of real value they can get in return is a win. Iguodala gives them as close to equal value on a single player-for-player exchange that they could possibly get. While he’s clearly best-suited as second or even third option on a good squad, he’s currently the best player on a NBA team that as of this morning is in the playoffs. Throw in Thad – a young athlete lots of people outside of Philly who don’t watch Sixers game think can play – and the Nuggets actually re-stock their roster young, athletic perimeter talent while still remaining highly competitive in the West. You can’t tell me that an Iguodala/Young haul isn’t more attractive than the Landry Fields/Wilson Chandler/Bill Walker mess that the Knicks are rumored to be offering.

A major sticking point for the Nets in their negotiations with Carmelo and the Nuggets has been the need to sign Anthony to a long-term contract extension. Renting Melo for the next few months does nothing for them – they are desperate to have an A-List player on their roster for when they open up in Brooklyn. There are probably less than 10 players in the NBA that can give them the juice to really make a splash in Brooklyn when they officially move there, and Melo is one of them – hence their unabashed desperation in this whole process. To me it seems like it’s more about Melo’s ticket/merchandise-selling power than it is about whether or not he fits into their basketball plans.

The Sixers don’t have that pressure. Maybe I’m crazy, but if I’m them, I don’t really care if Carmelo signs an extension. Would it be nice to have Melo long-term? Of course. But if he leaves, so what? Iguodala clearly doesn’t fit into their long-term plans; when he was out for stretches this season, you could argue that the Sixers looked liberated and their offense free-flowing. And as far as Young goes, if they can get someone to take him in exchange for something of real value (even if it’s fleeting), they should jump at the chance.

A short-term rental of Anthony at the very least sells tickets in Philly for the rest of the season and makes their little playoff run infinitely more entertaining. (If you doubt that they would do it just for tickets sales, remember this?) If he enjoys his time and re-signs with the 76ers, then great. If he goes elsewhere? Thank him for the massive salary coming off the books and continue to build around Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner.

It’s a simple deal that works for both sides.

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  • karizmatic

    There is some sense in this argument, but I can’t see Philly having any sort of interest really in renting Melo. I think ultimately that’s the sticking point of the whole deal, no one wants Melo short term and everyone knows if he’s traded to a bad situation he won’t sign an extension. On the other hand, if Melo is thinking about the money he needs to sign an extension. Actually I think Melo is being pretty shrewd at this time by not making his wishes known.

    The Nuggets are under the gun to do something by all star break and this looks like a deal that will happen on the eve of the trade deadline or something.

  • dagwaller

    That’s the most sensible idea I’ve read about this whole mess. Great proposal, PC!

  • Eduardo

    This is just…nonsense. People don’t move players just to make one playoff run “more entertaining”. It would be good for Devnver, yes, but it’s not happening, not for Philly neither Melo.

  • Bballeducator

    Seems to make sense, I’m not sure nuggets would want Iguodala’s contract. I agree player for player it is some what equal value, but it puts the nuggets in a spot of not contending but not rebuilding (or the flexibilty to rebuild) eather just stuck where they are right now.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @Eduardo –

    Yes, you do if your team is close to the bottom in terms of attendance in the NBA. Is this the same team that signed A.I. last year under the guise of mentoring their young players? Their instant spike in ticket sales made the whole thing worth it.

  • rell

    Sorry this is not a good trade. Why would Denver take on AI2 bad contract when they are trying to get rid of money. This trade doesn’t keep Denver competitive. Philly is only a 7 seed because they are in the East. A 17-24 record will get you nothing in the West. If A.I. was in the last year of his contract I could see them trading for him. However, he have 3year and a total $44M left on his contract after this season. This would be a bad trade for Denver.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @rell –

    How is Denver dead set on getting rid of money? They have a standing $83 million offer out to Melo.

  • Bo Knocks

    Other than Melo not signing an extension, I agree.

    Losing Iggy and Young, and then Melo, would leave a giant whole in a Sixers team that already struggles to score consistently. Turner will be good, but right now, he is horribly inconsistent. Meeks is in that same boat.

    Without Igoudala, Thad or Melo, you put the brunt of the scoring on an aging, although gracefully, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes, who has shown flashes of what he COULD be but also struggles with inconsistency.

    Jrue has the ability to average 18, but he goes on 5 game stretches of 20+ and then score 6 with 8 turnovers.

    The Sixers are a young team, that will contend in the future. I don’t think a half season from Melo makes enough of a difference to lose your second best bench scorer and your superstar.

    Although I do agree the Sixers looked better without Igoudala.

  • Eduardo

    @ Patrick

    Okay, I can see your point, more than an opinion it’s a fact, but in my opinion losing Iggy and Young it’s not worth it.
    I was just thinking about this… What about the Clippers? Can’t they figure something out? Isn’t it possible? I don’t know, that team always lacked chemistry, now that they´re starting to get things right a move like this might ruin everything..But it would be great to watch Carmelo in LA, with the Griifindors.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Not sure I would be very excited as a Philly fan if I’m building around Turner and Holiday. Just saying.

  • Knicksfan84

    Ehh its not terrible… Might as well trade him to Washington for Blatche and filler…

  • pwarrior

    I really think Melo would do great on the Hawks. JJ is not a good 1st option, as shown in the last couple seasons in the playoffs. However, make him the #2 option, bext to Melo, and I belive he would thrive.

    Trade Melo for Josh Smith and jamal crawford. I would miss them both, but josh can’t shoot and should be a 3 (whenever he get an official big & move horford to the 4). Crawford is a monster off hte bench, but the other Crawford could hopefuly step up and fill the void.

    New starting five would be

    bibby/teague
    jj
    melo
    horford
    zaza

  • Talented

    Great idea…except going to philly is like staying in denver, but with even more L’s and less playoff appearances. I’m sure he still wants to win….

  • Brown

    What about the Clippers trading Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a 1st Round Pick to Denver for Melo.

    The Clips could easily make a playoff push and might even make some noise in the post-season.

  • K Dizzle

    Nice attempt but trading valuable pieces for a player you get for 40 games ain’t a good look. Iggy and Thad Young should get you more longterm than Melo for half a season. Cosigning what Bo Knocks said on the lack of scoring without all 3 of those guys next season. 2011-12 season starts and then you have no Melo, no Thad AND no Iggy. Sixers will actually be worse off than they are now…with no trade chips(Iggy, Thad) to improve.
    I think you overhypin the “spike in ticket sales” AI caused. How long he play for them before bouncin? Probably just enough to cover his salary.

    It omes down to this: Melo needs to sign an extension if he’s goin anywhere. Otherwise, the team tradin for him is gettin took…

  • s.bucketz

    that is the most retarded trade proposal ever..the knicks were “offering” eddy currys expiring contract one or 2 of landry,wil and danillo and a pick if they could get it and I commend them for not givin that up..why give away all that wen currys commin off the books and u can sign melo outright this summer and keep all those pieces…i do kinda like that hawks deal..jus need a big man in ATL and an excited fan base and they gunna b good

  • http://wewantmelo.com WE WANT MELO

    @Patrick: What about Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and the first round pick we (THE KNICKS) can offer? Wilson Chandler is a problem and as a Knicks fan, I’d want to keep him on the team. Landry Fields is also only a rookie and already ready to dance on the big stage. I think those pieces are extremely attractive for the Denver Nuggets.

    WE WANT MELO

    http://wewantmelo.com
    http://wewantmelo.com

  • rell

    @Patrick

    If Denver can’t resign Melo they want to get rid of contracts. That is why they are trying to include Chauncey and/or Al Harrington in any Melo deal. They don’t want to take back bad contracts if they deal Melo.

  • sadeye2507

    The thing is with the new CBA coming up there will be some kind of ‘superstar-clause’ following the Wade-Bosh-James fiasco (which will also stick CP3 in NO in 2012- or wherever they might be) so Melo better pray he gets traded before the deadline. His ‘I-wanna-play-in-New York tantrums don’t sit well with David Stern.

  • Taj

    Great points in this article.. I think the Russian is bluffin though, he’s a shrewd business man. He want’s Melo but he probably thinks Denver is as desparate to get the deal done!

  • Big B

    Everyone is always mentioning how a team wouldn’t make the playoffs from the east if they were in the west yada yada yada. Just wait a few years and you will be making the same comment but reversed. Teams from the West that will possibly suck in the next five years or already suck and the future doesn’t look good include.

    Spurs – losing duncan (maybe a stretch)
    Nuggets – losing melo
    Houston – no yao and no defense
    Phoenix – all you got is steve nash but for how long
    Memphis – Once the eat up all the cap space on Randolph
    Sacramento – …..
    Golden State – Because they always suck
    NOH – Losing Chris Paul or possible contraction
    Minnesota – Darko is starting!
    Portland – No Brandon Roy, screwed themselves with the Oden pick

    So I don’t think this comment holds carries much weight.

    That leaves five teams as power houses which is the exact same as the east this year.

    Memhis

  • http://www.chess.com smoove chips

    BREAKING NEWS MELO TO LA..

    In a complete unseen move,laced with unspeakable genius, Mitch kupchack absolutely yanks the ‘closer’ label from Kobe Bryant.

    Before the league could recover from the Gasol highway robber..ahem,trade with memphis,Kupchack quietly was working with denver since last week.

    The lakers give up derek fisher,joe smith,derrick caracter,ebanks,and the rights to the 2011,2014 draft pick along with half a million in cash considerations.Afterwards the kroenke family left for vacation in St.Bartz.

    The lakers are devasted at losing about half their squad but will try to move on.in completely unrelated news,greg popovich admitted to san antonio facility for uncontrolled seizures..

  • JBaller

    I disagree with this article completely. No way Philly parts with AI2 and THad for Melo as a three month rental, and no way Melo signs that extension to be the only player on that team. If they did rent him it would be great for NYK, who could still scoop him up in FA. Nothing wrong with trading him to the Knicks any combo of WC, DG, LF, and a first round pick that we get by trading Randolf to Mini.

  • Da_Griff

    No way.

    No team would trade one of it’s top players for a renta player for less than a year.

    Any team willing to make a trade with a blue chipper will be asking for Melo to sign an extension. No doubt about it.