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Melo trade update: Denver slows pace down, Harrington still stumbling block

Jan 11, 2011, 7:50 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony intro

Sunday evening into Monday there seemed to be more leaks around the Carmelo Anthony-to-the-Nets trade talks than there were on the Titanic.

That, and pressure from the Nets (and others) to make it happen fast, gave the impression the entire trade was just about to go down.

Turns out, not so much. In the past 24 hours Denver has worked to shore up those leaks, slow the pace of the talks down, and is still insisting that Al Harrington and his contract be part of any trade — which is the current stumbling block.

Denver was aggressive in making the talks more private, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Before resuming trade talks for Carmelo Anthony(notes) on Monday, the Denver Nuggets delivered a stern warning to the New Jersey Nets: Unless the public nature of these trade discussions becomes private, be warned that we will send Anthony to the New York Knicks….

Would the Nuggets do such a thing out of spite? Would they take a lesser package out of vengeance? No one could be sure, but it sure delivered one more element of drama and intrigue to these trade talks.

It worked, the two sides pulled back and even agents who have players being discussed could get no information on where things stood at times Monday. But some things were clear.

For one, the Nuggets have succeeded in slowing the pace of the discussions again, meaning Anthony’s suggestion that the trade might not happen this week seems much more likely. There is no real pressure on the Denver front office to do this now.  One thing that could bring pressure soon? That the Nuggets have lost three straight and they could unravel because the rumors.

The basics of the deal remain the same. It is a complex, 15-player, three-team trade that would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; bring Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, some other players and a couple first-round picks to Denver; and Troy Murphy and Johan Petro to Detroit along with picks.

Denver wants more out of the deal and is working hard to ship out Harrington and his oversized contract. He has four years, $28 million left on his deal (the last two years are not fully guaranteed; he can be bought out, so in reality it is two years, $20 million). That’s still more than anyone wants to take on, leaving the trade at an impasse.

Denver can wait. It feels no pressure so long as the Nets deal is on the table. And they have proven more than willing to do drag this out.

So sit back and get comfortable, we could be at this a while.

  1. sknut - Jan 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I think Denver runs the risk that one of these pieces doesn’t get hurt in the meantime. If I were them I would want this to be over and move on. It feels like they are slowly taking the band off instead of just ripping it off.

  2. hockeytman06 - Jan 11, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    I really think that Denver needs to realize that this trade will not benifit them now and will help them in the future. I also think that the nuggets will not be getting what the should for melo. This year Devin Harris has just been mediocre averaging only 16 points a game with 6.8 assist. My next question would be what would the nuggets do with ty lawson. In games that billups has missed lawson has filled in well. If they bring in harris his game might get messed up. The only way I feel this trade would help the nuggets if harris started at the 2 and lawson at the 1

  3. borderline1988 - Jan 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    A lot of people think that the Nets are crazy for giving up so much, but it’s easy to forget that most of the elite teams in the NBA were built through free agency or trades, rather than the draft. Or, there is one drafted superstar, like Kobe, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, etc., and the team builds around them.

    You can look at Miami, Boston, LA, Dallas, and Chicago. Teams that have successfully built through the draft – San Antonio and OKC.
    And that’s why this potential trade by NJ isn’t too bad – you obtain an instant playoff team that can compete for a good 4 years, and will probably be as good or better than waiting for Derrick Favors to mature. NJ’s new owner is smart enough to see this.

    NJ is at minimum 2 – 3 years away from being a playoff team (in the eastern conference!) and probably at least 4 – 5 years from being a serious playoff competitor if everything works out as planned. Why not trade away the uncertain long-term projects for an instant competitor?

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