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Winderman: Carmelo's distasteful steps potentially good for Denver

Aug 18, 2010, 7:47 PM EDT

anthony_high5.jpgWhen does free agency start?

By the NBA calendar, it’s July 1.

By the collective-bargaining agreement, it generally is a week later, after the insipid waiting period that’s known as the signing moratorium.

But have the lessons of LeBron and Bosh, as well as the ongoing saga of Carmelo, showed that free agency actually begins some time closer to Sept. 1 or Oct. 1?

Much of the backlash directed toward LeBron James and Chris Bosh (beyond a certain lack of decorum), is over how they never truly showed their hand until it was too late for the Cavaliers or Raptors to get something in return.

At last season’s trading deadline there was a confidence in Cleveland that James would return, a hope in Toronto that Bosh would remain.

So now Carmelo Anthony, through typical NBA backchannels, the same ones that broadcast Chris Paul’s unease in New Orleans earlier this summer, makes it known that he might not necessarily view himself as having a future in Denver.

As a result, as unpalatable as it might be, at least the Nuggets have the opportunity to deal for something in return.

Perhaps sooner, such as before the start of camp or the regular season.

Perhaps later, such as after this summer’s free-agent acquisitions can be dealt on Dec. 15 or closer to the Feb. 24 trading deadline.

While the Cavaliers said they never would trade LeBron, would that have been true if they knew then, felt then, what they know now, feel now?

As for the Raptors? Hindsight shows than some sort of deadline deal would have been prudent, even if it meant a somewhat smaller return from a team looking to rent an All-Star, Major League Baseball style.

Perhaps the NBA needs something like the NCAA has in advance of national signing day, some sort of early commitment period, in this case where impending free agents can make clear a desire to depart, without penalty from David Stern, knowing full well it could create an ongoing unease in their home markets.

At least it would be honest.

If Anthony leaves the Nuggets in free agency for nothing in return, the Nuggets become the Cavaliers, the Raptors. They become irrelevant.

But if Denver at least gets on the same page with Carmelo, a future could be salvaged.

Heck, on Dec. 15 Bosh becomes available for a trade, albeit with a 15-percent trade kicker (hypothetical scenario, only, people).

The Nuggets could do far worse.

And then the brothers Van Gundy can tell us how many games Wade, LeBron and ‘Melo could win.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

  1. kyle - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    “Perhaps the NBA needs something like the NCAA has in advance of national signing day, some sort of early commitment period, in this case where impending free agents can make clear a desire to depart, without penalty from David Stern, knowing full well it could create an ongoing unease in their home markets.”
    what if they dont know what they want to do? they have a right to do what they want, this is ridic.

  2. Bert - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Why are we talking about trading Bosh for Melo?

  3. ron - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    i do not understand the article melo for bosh. that is just completely making something up on his own with absolutely not facts or truth to support it. you made it up on your own. i am sure they did not teach you that in journalism school.

  4. BIll-Sonora - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Doesnt the article clearly state ” hypothetical only scenario”?

  5. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Carmelo has done nothing more than ‘not sign an extension.’ He’s playing under his current contract. That’s all he’s obligated to do. “Back channels?” Unless it’s Carmelo or his agent, i don’t see anything “distasteful” about how he’s conducting business. Even if he IS sending unofficial signals that he is not interested in finishing his career in Denver – that could be construed as a benefit to the Nuggets. They can PREPARE. They can get a fair return. If he said nothing and left like Lebron did, he’d experience a similar backlash. It’s kinda odd that honesty is being condemned. He owes nothing to Denver than to play at 100% during his contracted period.
    This is why, on the players’ end, contracts have durations. So that, at the end of the duration, they can DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES.

  6. CK Dexter Haven - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Carmelo has done nothing more than ‘not sign an extension.’ He’s playing under his current contract. That’s all he’s obligated to do. “Back channels?” Unless it’s Carmelo or his agent, i don’t see anything “distasteful” about how he’s conducting business. Even if he IS sending unofficial signals that he is not interested in finishing his career in Denver – that could be construed as a benefit to the Nuggets. They can PREPARE. They can get a fair return. If he said nothing and left like Lebron did, he’d experience a similar backlash. It’s kinda odd that honesty is being condemned. He owes nothing to Denver than to play at 100% during his contracted period.
    This is why, on the players’ end, contracts have durations. So that, at the end of the duration, they can DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES.

  7. Randall - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    It’s usually pretty easy to tell if someone is going to leave regardless (anyone who thought there was a snowball’s chance of Bosh staying needs to tighten their helmet). Melo not signing his extension said it all. It’s nice he gave his boss a list of where he wants to go; hopefully Mr. Kroenke trades him to the Clippers and laughs maniacally as he does so.

  8. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Melo is overrated. He can score, but is inefficient. It may be good for Denver to trade him for some value. Being overrated will work in the Nuggets favor. If I was a nuggets fan I’d root for this.

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