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Ujiri will meet with Melo to try and soothe the waters

Aug 28, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

Masai Ujiri and Dell Demps should get together and have a beer when the Nuggets and Hornets meet next season, because they’ve both been initiated into fire. Demps had to meet with Chris Paul within days of being hired by the Hornets, to try and convince him to chill out on his trade demands.

Now Ujrii faces the same charge when he says he’ll meet with Carmelo Anthony in the near future to try and convince the start that the Nuggets are still a place he can compete. Ujiri told the Denver Post that he’ll meet with Anthony and that the Nuggets still very much want him as their star. This of course refutes a report by Woj we told you about earlier that said the Nuggets were pretty much done with Anthony, and especially with his agent Leon Rose and representative agency, CAA. 
This is likely a good-cop-bad-cop act by the Nuggets, with owner Stan Kroenke playing hardball to get the pressure to back off, and Ujiri on to smooth the wrinkles out. The question will be how much Anthony does want out, especially if New York, widely reported to be his top destination, is unavailable by trade. If he’d rather wait till free agency, even under the new CBA to go where he wants, he may relent and stay with Denver. If Ujiri is really able to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he could convince Anthony to sign the extension he’s been mulling over for three months. From here on out, it’s a negotiating power play, and either the Nuggets, or Anthony’s reps, will come out the winners. 
So how do you convince Anthony to stick around? For starters, reminding him of how close they were in 2009. There’s a perception of shock around the league about this unraveling of the team. After all, they were in the Western Conference Finals in 2009! Except when you look at those playoffs, you can point to a lot of circumstantial events that led to that WCF appearance, and while the six-game series looked competitive, the Lakers still dispatched them with relative ease. But is anywhere Anthony can go going to be better? His options are the Clippers (giggle), Golden State in massive upheaval, the Nets in massive rebuilding, and the Bobcats continually trying to remodel with trades and no budget. Only Houston really provides a championship-caliber core, and even that’s loaded with the question of how much longer Yao Ming can play. Outside of marketing, which again leads to New York, there’s not much reason to leave Denver. That’s likely to be Ujiri’s pitch.
The big problem may be that as this is now a power play, it may be better for Melo to leave and keep his negotiating power than stay, if he can go somewhere with flexibility and promising pieces, like New Jersey. Staying would seem like a capitulation at this point, and free agency exposes him to the risk of losing millions under the new impending CBA. All of a sudden, Carmelo may be the one stuck between a rock and a hard place. 
  1. BRANDON - Aug 29, 2010 at 7:41 AM

    If melo wants to win a championship he will go to houston. If he wants to let his wife tell him what to do he will go to NY. If he wants to lose the rest of his career he will go to LA. Tough call but id go to houston. We dont need him here. we should trade him for the two first round picks and some young talent. id love to get chase budinger and jordan hill too. idk if houston will give that much though.

  2. jason - Aug 29, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    trade him to houston and get some building blocks… they get their star and we get our future solidified.

  3. Chapzilla - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    No stars in Houston to play with, team and city is overrated. NY is the best bet, hands down. The Nuggets will take a 180 degree turn and look completely different in 2011. Leave fast! Denver has no leverage. Melo doesn’t have to sign. Would rather play with fellow all star and Olympian, Ama’re and Coach Dantoni.

  4. Chapzilla - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    The Knicks have plenty of young talent to pick from that will help Denver win and at the same time rebuild now. The Nuggets have a solid core of guards and big men, acquiring a talented SF or two to replace Melo, which the Knicks are in the best position to deliver along with cap relief for 2011 is a smart move for this new GM. Make it happen now and don’t let the free agent circus ruin another season.

  5. chuck - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    houston will be a top 5 team in the league this year WITHOUT melo. are you forgetting they added kevin martin to the mix? throw yao in on top of that(yes hes healthy)…. add melo and they are competing with the heat. one thing most ppl dont realize is that in the mcgrady deal to the knicks they got 2 first round picks from the knicks. they have patterson who was a steal at 14th overall this summer, jordan hill and chase budinger. the nuggets wont find anything better as far as their future is concerned.just dont trade him to LA…. i freakin hate LA…

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