According to NBA writer and analyst Sam Amico’s Twitter page:
Early word around NBA is Nuggets will try to trade Carmelo to 1 of 3 teams: Wolves, Kings, Nets. In other words, careful what you wish for.
I find it interesting that Amico singled out the three teams with the most cap space still available. In order to get max return, the Nuggets are going to need to cement an extend and trade with Anthony or likely take back far less than market value. By focusing on these three teams, the Nuggets would be looking for either a package of young, inexpensive prospects, picks and a huge trade exemption to drop down closer to the luxury tax threshold or possibly take less value in return but a prospective team would have to absorb either Kenyon Martin (1yr 16.5 million) or Chauncey Billups (2 yr 27.3 million- 3.7 million buyout in year 2) in the deal.
The 26 year old Anthony finished 3rd in scoring last season at 28.2 points per game. The Nuggets have extended a 3 year 65 million dollar extension to Anthony but in the last few weeks, Anthony has continued to press the Nuggets to move him. Newly hired executive president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri told The Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey:
“I love Melo, I grew up in this league with Melo, kind of. It was my first years in the league, and I watched him grow. The Denver Nuggets want to keep Melo, and that’s our priority. Carmelo is the Denver Nuggets, he’s the city of Denver. He’s done so well on this team. So we’re going to deal with the issue full force.”
While Anthony has the option to leave after the 2010-11 season as an unrestricted free agent, the impending NBA labor unrest has Carmelo looking for the best of both worlds- his extension and a new address. It will be interesting to see how this saga plays out.
Certainly, the Kings would have to kick the tires on a possible deal if Anthony would both accept a trade to Sacramento and ink the 3 year extension. Anthony is a marquee name that would help fill many of Arco Arena’s empty seats and on paper, he would be a perfect scoring option to team with last year’s rookie of the year Tyreke Evans. If Geoff Petrie and Co. can swing a deal that does not include either Evans or rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins, it has to be considered.