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Denver and Melo Sitting in Limbo

By Dave Bruning

Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets are in trade limbo. The Melo drama surrounding the future of the Anthony is soap opera worthy and has tentacles that extend from Denver to Detroit to New Jersey to Russia. James Bond would be proud. The ongoing saga has worn out Denver fans and begs for a conclusion. Anthony either needs to sign the extension offered by the Nuggets or facilitate a trade and let everyone move forward.

I have been a Nuggets fan for a long time. I enjoyed their success under Doug Moe and Bernie Bickerstaff. I rooted very quietly through the Paul Westhead fiasco. Carmelo Anthony falling in their lap was a breath of fresh air that may have saved NBA basketball in Denver. Let’s not forget the Nuggets could have easily ended up with Darko Milicic, which translates to what the #*@!.

Anthony’s arrival signaled a new era in Denver basketball. He brought precocious innocence and the promise of the future. While stumbling at times, Melo has largely lived up to the promise. Anthony and Nuggets fans would prefer greater playoff success through the years, but prior to his arrival the playoffs were a pipe dream for the Nuggets.

I expected Melo to resign with the Nuggets when the 3-year, $65 million extension was offered. I did not recognize how strong his desire to play in New York was. Anthony was born in Brooklyn, raised in Baltimore and played his college basketball at Syracuse. The East Coast is in his blood. It is hard to argue with a desire to return to one’s roots. Melo has never openly expressed any dislike for Denver. On the contrary, Denver has helped him mature and his comments about Denver generally express a fondness for the city.

Lost in all the drama regarding Melo’s future is the fantastic job Nuggets head coach George Karl is doing. The Nuggets are currently 27-18, two games behind Oklahoma City. Karl has guided Denver through all the potential trade rumors and kept the team focused. The Nuggets have defended their home court and are beginning to play better on the road, possibly freed up from all the trade rumors.

The trade deadline is Feb. 24th. At this point I think there are 3 options; Denver, New Jersey or Dallas. The New York Knicks linger in the background, but I don’t think Denver will cave and agree to a trade with the Knicks. Let’s look quickly at the 3 options I have identified.

• Denver: Resign with the Nuggets and make a run with a very talented, offensively scary basketball team. Denver’s defense is fleeting but they can score in bunches on any team in the NBA.

• New Jersey: The Nets have the trade pieces the Nuggets covet. I believe the Nets will jump back in the Melo sweepstakes late and make the trade to acquire Melo. The biggest factor here is the $65 million extension Anthony can lock in. Laying the foundation to the new Brooklyn franchise will ultimately entice Melo.

• Dallas: Don’t underestimate Mark Cuban’s desire to win the NBA title. The addition of Melo would make the Mavericks a very dangerous team. Cuban is not afraid to roll the dice, and he has reputation of treating players like royalty. Anthony may enjoy the Cuban approach given the opportunity.

Denver fans need and deserve an answer regarding Anthony’s future. Carmelo holds the keys to his future. It’s time to pick a key and turn the ignition. Nobody gets anywhere sitting in limbo.

1 comment:

  1. Being a Syracuse fan, I was thrilled to see Melo come West. I was able to cheer for him at SU and his subsiquent years in a Nuggets Uni. That being said, I have been continually disappointed in both his defense and his attitude. His "D" (or lack thereof) I have been able to look past, but his attitude has been what I can no longer look past. From the Olympic Bronze and his disposal of it, his pot in his backpack and his not disposing of it, Melo has been poor judgement ater poor judgement. I'd like to see Denver fleece the Nets of players and picks, but frankly, I just want to see him moved. As an SU fan, that pains me to say, but it's time.