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Carmelo Anthony trade updates: Don’t believe anybody

Feb 15, 2011, 9:38 AM EDT

carmelo anthony

It’s at the point with the Carmelo Anthony trade drama to stop taking anything anybody says seriously. It’s all lies, spin and negotiation tactics. Any truth in comments from people involved in the trade is incidental to their motives.

Look at Tuesday’s reports.

The New York Daily News is saying the Knicks could make a deal right now for Anthony but find the price — three starters, including Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari, a first round pick and the Eddy Curry contract — too steep. Who knows if that deal is really out there (the Nuggets have been aiming high and asking for everything but a an all-expenses paid trip to Brazil for Carnaval through this entire process) but it sounds like a message sent through the media to the Nuggets that the Knicks won’t overpay.

So Denver leaks they might not trade Anthony at all. Of course, to believe that you believe the Nuggets front office is willing to bet the next five years of the franchise on: 1) Anthony suddenly deciding to sign a three-year, $65 million extension that he has ignored since this summer; 2) The new collective bargaining agreement will have a franchise player tag that will allow them to keep him.

Hard to swallow but that’s the spin Denver sources keep spinning to reporters — such as ESPN’s Marc Stein and CBS’s Ken Berger. Understand, these are good reporters who I’m sure are being told Denver would keep ‘Melo, it just strikes me more as a negotiating tactic. Here is what Berger wrote:

Some high-ranking personnel in the organization believe that without injuries to Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and Chauncey Billups — not to mention the persistent trade rumors and the games Anthony missed due to the tragic death of his sister — the Nuggets might very well be as high as third in the West. Team officials also are pleased with Anthony, who is averaging 29.5 points per game since the Nets walked away from the negotiating table — including a 50-point game and a 42-point game. Given the circumstances, and the added value of home playoff dates with a lockout looming, the best course of action might be to keep Anthony and find ways to improve the roster without taking on future money.

Did those executives watch a less talented but harder working Rockets team dismantle the Nuggets Monday night? Can they project to next season when this kind of loss is the norm if Anthony walks? The risk of getting nothing for Anthony — and that is a real risk — seems a steep price for making the second round of the Western Conference playoffs (and the second round is the optimistic scenario).

About those Rockets… the Clutch Fans blog asked Anthony about maybe playing in Houston.

“It would be interesting, that’s all I can say,” said Anthony. “The Rockets are a good team, they’re an up and coming team right now. They miss Yao. They’re a play-hard team. I’m pretty sure anybody would like to play for that team. Now don’t take that the wrong… don’t spin that tonight.”

Don’t worry Anthony, nobody is taking anything said around your trade front too seriously right now.

  1. Fred - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Nice report, Kurt. It’s hard for me to imagine that there will ever be a franchise tag in the NBA. This is the team sport in which the great individual players have the most power, but they would be willing to hamstring themselves with a franchise tag? Can you see impending free agents: Anthony, Williams, Paul and Howard saying, “Sure, we’re fine handing the power over to our respective teams to tie us to them in perpetuity.” And, as we all know, no one cares if the NBA owners break Reggie Evans and Anthony Morrow — if LeBron, Kobe, Melo and Howard say they aren’t playing until the tag is off the bargaining table, it will come off the table with a quickness. Of course, that means that if Denver holds on to Anthony, he’ll be a Knick in 2011-12. That can’t be what they want to communicate to their most logical trading partner, can it?

  2. leearmon - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I agree. I can’t imagine the NBA with a franchise tag. Unlike the NFL the “star” players drive this league. No one watches the Wizards, Nets, Bobcats ect because they don’t have stars. Plus under the current rookie contracts a player essentially has to wait at least 7 years before they can completely become “Free Agents” thats assuming they were drafted in the first round. So players essentially are at the mercy of the owners from the start of their careers into the beginning stages of the primes of their careers without getting fair market value. Take Durant for example, yes he got the max for a player coming out of his initial rookie deal, and signed a $80 million+ contract, but is there any question that if he was a true free agent he wouldn’t top 100 mill? But as you stated its a negotiation tactic for the owners, a smart one at that.

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