Carmelo Anthony, who becomes a free agent this July, has been playing with the Denver Nuggets since he was drafted as the No.3 pick in 2003. He has reportedly asked to be traded, and while many teams have shown interest in him, the New Jersey Nets, who finished the regular season at bottom last year, according to Yahoo! Sports, are close to finalizing a three-team, 15-player deal with the Denver Nuggets. The third team in mention are the Detroit Pistons. All-star names featured in the trade rumors include Anthony, Denver native Chauncey Billups, and Ric Hamilton, who would end up in New Jersey.
Three-Team, 15-Player Deal
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports: “Anthony said he was sorry that Billups’ name has been brought up in a proposed three-team deal involving Detroit.
“Billups is a Denver native who wants to stay in his hometown following his trade from the Pistons a couple of years ago. Billups has intimated that if he’s traded to the Nets, he might ask them to tear up his contract after the season so he could return to Denver. He was looking forward to retiring here, whenever he’s done.”
That said, it can be anticipated that Billups would return to Denver after a possible early buyout, and come back home at the end of the season. Melo, on the other hand, a native of Brooklyn who led Syracuse to a championship, is much anticipated by both Knicks and Nets fans to come to the tri-state area.
Yahoo! Sports reported that the Nuggets were threatening to pull out of the trade if the Nets went any more public with the trade talks, but ESPN.com immediately said it was a rum out and the Nuggets made no such threat.
Jets Vs Knicks
Melo has shown interest in joining the Knicks. He is said to have agreed to extend his contract only if traded to the Knicks. Since he becomes a free agent in July, it would not be in the best interests of any team to do a heavy trade for a player who could leave you in as soon as six months.
Denver, on the other hand, is looking to score big on the Carmelo trade. After issues with Iverson, who was later traded to the Pistons — ironically, Billups was a part of that trade — Denver is now trying to do the same with Carmelo Anthony.
Unless Anthony signs an extension with the Nuggets, the trade will not be a win-win for all parties involved. It looks as though, while Denver is more interested in dealing with the Nets, Carmelo himself prefers the Knicks. So the battle of the Knicks and Nets is still at a 50-50 possibility.
According to nba-trade-rumors.com, Melo could also end up in Texas either with the Mavs or the Rockets. Another ridiculous rumor sends Anthony to Phoenix, Nash to the Spurs and Tony Parker to Denver.
The Great East Migration
If the trades work out, the NBA’s Western Conference would become still weaker. For the past few years, star players have been migrating East. After the South Beach trio announced their intentions of teaming up, veteran Juan Howard went on to join them; last year, Shaquille O Neil went from Phoenix to the Cavs and now to powerhouse Boston; Amare Stoudemire went to the Knicks; Boozer left Utah to join Chicago; Richardson and Torkoglu went from Phoenix to Orlando; the West has been coughing up a lot of players. Hoops.com’s top 5 trade offers show four of the five top offers are from Eastern conference teams.
More so if this trade is also to work out, leaving the veteran-filled Dallas, San Antonio and the LA Lakers the only mentionable teams in the West.
Amare Stoudemaire has called for Melo and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets to come and join him with the Knicks. Why not form such an alliance in the West?
West Fans’ Expectation
The so-called ‘Larger Markets” are what supposedly attract the players to the East. But the West too has some nice markets. It was long rumored that LeBron James was considering coming to the West Coast to play for the Clippers; another rumor was that Shaquille O Neil was heading to the Blazers. Such rumors increased fan expectations in the West, but they have been repeatedly disappointed.
With these “migrations,” the West is being left with a few veteran stars like Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzky, Kobe Bryant, among others, who are no doubt stars but are at the tail-end of their carriers.
Other Westerners like the Portland Trail Blazers, LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors are injury-plagued. So, if this state continues, the West fans are the ones who are impacted.
Hope in Griffin
According to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, “The Clippers’ Blake Griffin is one of Denver’s dream targets in an Anthony trade, but sources told ESPN.com that those overtures have been consistently rejected.”
If something like this trade works out and a power house is established in the West, that will give something for the West fans to cheer!