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Nuggets management figures out it has to trade Carmelo Anthony. Finally.

Dec 9, 2010, 10:10 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony

What you and I figured out months ago, what Carmelo Anthony’s people have been telling the Nuggets front office privately since this summer, has finally sunk in with Denver’s decision makers.

Carmelo Anthony is leaving, and you can trade him now or watch him walk for nothing next July. So Denver is going to get serious about trading him, Ken Berger reports at CBSSports.

The Nuggets have all but decided to trade Anthony if he does not sign an extension with the team by the trade deadline, and Denver’s management team believes Anthony is fully prepared to play out the season and become a free agent, multiple sources told….

Executives believe the Nuggets have decided they would like to receive the best possible package of young players and are not interested in stopgap options that would hamper their flexibility. Acquiring a high-priced veteran player — such as Andre Iguodala, whose talent the Nuggets value but not his contract — would only hurt the team’s ability to build around youth while maintaining payroll flexibility into the uncertainty of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Nets’ package of 2010 No. 3 pick Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris, the expiring contract of Kris Humphries and two first-round picks remains the most attractive option to the Nuggets, sources say.

Somewhere Bret Bearup is laughing.

He was the advisor to outgoing owner Stan Kronke who was pushed aside by incoming owner Josh Kronke — the son of Stan who has worked in the Nuggets front office — and Masai Ujiri. It was Bearup who pushed for the four-team trade that fell apart this summer because others in Denver wanted to try and convince Anthony to stay, and they weren’t sure exactly what they wanted back.

Now they do, they want young players and to rebuild. But remember that Anthony holds a hammer here — teams will only trade for him if he will sign an extension. The signals on if he would for the Nets are unclear, but he may not

He wants to go to New York with the Knicks, but they don’t really have quality young players to give, unless you think Anthony Randolph is just about to figure it all out. We’re kind of off that train, but maybe you are still riding it. Denver is off it, too.

Of course, the other question is should the Knicks even want him? They are playing good, efficient basketball of late — against a soft schedule, sure but they are winning — and do they want Anthony and his love of shooting a contested long two pointer in their offense now?

But what the Knicks really need is talent, and Anthony has that. So they’ll take him. And they are the one group that has played it smart and waited it out, now it all may fall into place for them.

  1. silk32 - Dec 9, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Who’s better . . . Melo, Kober or Ed “Booger” Smith (NYC streetball legend)? The Shock Exchange settles the debate >>

  2. hnirobert3 - Dec 9, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    The Nuggets are going to get .50 cents on the dollar.

    • sham13ert - Dec 9, 2010 at 12:55 PM

      Doesn’t Matter.

      Anything they get in return is better than getting nothing for Melo once he darts next year.

      Favors will be a big pickup because in a couple of years he’ll be able to replace an aging Kenyon Martin, and you now they have the option of shipping Billups off next year, but Denver will have to sit on Billups, Harris, and Lawson for a year. They could bring Harris in as the sixth man and run him at the two to backup Affalo, then they could try to ship off Smith, but good luck trying to find a team that wants Smith.

      That might be another situation where you can ship Smith off for young talent, but not an equal return.

      Plus, Humphries has been one of the top 10 rebounders so far this year?

  3. zblott - Dec 9, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Quarter-season MVP list – Carmelo nowhere to be found:

  4. downtowndanny - Dec 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    winning streak or not the Knicks still suck, so if its at all possible they better get Melo to take the load off of Amare, thats a no brainer. The Knicks remind you of one of those cinderella teams that get on a hot streak but never make back to the dance the following year. Walsh and Danphony need to make something happen. NJ would be nuts to gut they’re team, unless they can somehow get CP3 next year to play with Melo. Either way its still no rush because Boston and Orlando are the roadblocks for the Knicks for the next 3-4 years anyway oh and Miami too. So Knick fans enjoy this lil streak but brace yourselves for reality when the plane runs out of fuel

  5. florida727 - Dec 9, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    The one ‘thing’ you always have to consider is: what will they get in return? Like “sham” said, anything is better than nothing… or is it? Who would NY be willing to part with that Denver actually WANTS? Denver is the (obvious) big loser here. They have absolutely zero leverage.

    Might be considered a radical move, by why not let him walk? The old saying: no decision is a decision. Sit back, do nothing, and instead of being stuck with a player(s) and/or his (their) contract(s) that the Nuggets front office may not want, why not just “bank” Melo’s money and use it on locking up a coveted free agent or two next year?

    That said, I’m not even sure who comes up for free agency next year. Anybody know?

  6. gnyj85 - Dec 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    I think it’s a really weak free agent year…I remember seeing Big Baby as one of the top prospects..could be very wrong tho..

    Felton..Chandler…Melo..Amare.. plus one… teach them a little D, and that’s a pretty good starting squad.. keep Toney Douglas and Turiaf off the bench but otherwise CLEAN HOUSE..

    I should be a dam GM

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