Jun 24, 2010, 12:35 AM EDT
Carmelo Anthony could be the LeBron James of 2011.
I don’t mean the Nuggets have a great regular season only go down a little too easily in the playoffs. Again. No, I mean the free agent stuff– the hype and love from cities around the country that want to lure him in if he would opt out of the last year of his deal and come play for them. Russian billionaires, Jay-Z, Spike Lee — they would all be calling. Everyone would be talking about him. Then the backlash would start to come as people got sick of him in the spotlight (that wave is just starting, but it is coming). Carmelo could have all of that.
Except Melo wants to stay in Denver, so his agent has been negotiating an extension. And according to Marc Spears at Yahoo, there is a three-year max-deal extension on the table at $65 million.
So he’s good with the money part. Not going to get bigger than that.
But Melo wants to win, too.
“I feel good about it,” Anthony said. “I appreciate them putting it on the table and wanting me to extend my career there. At the end of the day it’s about winning. If I feel I can win there, I will stay.
“I’ve been there five years. I’m comfortable there. Family is there. If I’m able to compete for a championship, I’m there.”
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Nuggets can do. They are already on the hook for $74 million next season in salary, well above the luxury tax. They are not a franchise that just spends like mad over that number.
That money will buy the exact same team as last season, which finished fifth in the West. The year before the same group finished fourth.
They are good, but if they are going to win — really win a title — they are going to need to make some trades and moves to bolster the front line. We’ll see how creative they can be. Or if they will run the risk of Melo going LeBron.
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