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Time for the Melo Drama to End

By Dave Bruning

The uncertainty surrounding the status of Carmelo Anthony hangs over the city of Denver the way the smell of skunk lingers. Nobody ever truly sees the skunk; we just know it stinks. It is time for some fresh air in the Mile High City.

It is very clear Anthony intends to leave Denver. He has refused to sign the 3-year, $65 million dollar extension offered by the Nuggets (kind of boggles the mind). Melo has some savvy public relations people working for him. His only public comments on record address his preparations for the upcoming season and the fact he is still a Nugget. In essence, Anthony is towing the company line, except in reality, he is towing Carmelo Anthony Inc.

Part of me can’t blame him. As I mentioned in a previous post, Melo has earned his impending free agency and the right to play where he chooses. An upfront approach that spoke of his fondness for Denver while wanting to play in New York at the same time would be refreshing and, in my opinion well received, particularly after the LeBron James debacle. When Melo does get traded, and he will, he can always fall back on the fact he never publicly asked to leave Denver. A bit of a cop out, but essentially true.

One potential deal has already fallen through. Anthony would have been traded to the New Jersey Nets and in return Denver would have received rookie Derrick Favors, forward Andrei Kirilenko from Utah and two future first round draft picks. There is much to like here. A promising rookie, an experienced veteran with an expiring contract, i.e. future salary cap flexibility and draft picks to boot. The downfall was the additional $10 million in luxury tax the Nuggets would have to pay this year to take a step backwards into uncertainty. Nobody truly understands the luxury tax; just take my word for it. Eliminate the $10 million and Melo would have been a New Jersey Net last month.

A new trade rumor involving Melo’s preferred destination, the New York Knicks, is gaining momentum and I believe will happen. The framework is still uncertain, but centers around Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry and draft picks. Denver acquires young talent, draft picks and future salary cap relief here as well. I like the New Jersey deal better. Some form of a deal with the Knicks and probably a third team to facilitate the financial numbers is not too far off.

Starting the season with Anthony in Denver is a recipe for disaster. Internal friction and team strife would not be far behind. The longer Denver keeps Melo, the less they are likely to receive in return. Pull the trigger now, let the rebuilding process begin and cleanse the air of the lingering smell of skunk.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge Nugget guy and a bigger Melo guy, but if he doesn't want to be here, it's time to facilitate him. The likelyhood of re-signing him is nil, trading him at the trade deadline for PLAYERS is non-existant. (why would someone dismantle a teams young core to get a young player?) It's now or never to get any kind of value for the former Orangeman.