Blog Entry

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:31 am
The Nuggets flirted with danger but wound up trading Melo for a good set of assets. The Melo era is over in Denver. 
Posted by Matt Moore

This was not the best run trade negotiation period in history.  The Nuggets repeatedly pushed for too much, and then when they somehow miraculously got offered that much, they pushed again. Masai Ujiri played Russian Roullette with this trade but in the end, it wasn't Carmelo Anthony, or Donnie Walsh, or Leon Rose, who hit the Magic chamber. It was Isiah Thomas loading it six chambers full. As usual. 

The Denver Nuggets now have a completely different team than the one they entered the All-Star break with.  The odds of the roster as it stands currently being the one after the trade deadline are also very low. The Nuggets are currently in-between transitions, able to compete for the playoffs but with no true star, they're likely stumped once the first round hits. They have their point guard of the future (Ty Lawson) and now Raymond Felton complicates that. They have talented combination forwards, and just added more. They have aging veterans and now have young pieces. They're probably going to make the playoffs but probably won't get very far. They're rebuilding but trying to win now. They're in two very different places at the same time. 

But really, this was the best circumstance they could have hoped for once their last ditch effort to get Mikhail Prokhorov to convince Anthony to come to the Nets was proven to be what we always knew it would be: a fantasy. Yes, getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy's expiring and four first-rounders would have been ideal, but it simply wasn't to be with Anthony holding all the cards.  Somewhere, in the back of Denver's mind was the image of the Cavaliers walking off the floor after losing that 25th game. So it was the Knicks, as we knew all along it would be, really. And for it being the Knicks? They got a whale of a deal. They walked off with four players who have started at some point for the Knicks, including their quality free agent point guard, the young super-long shooter, and the high-upside foreign center prospect. They nab a first rounder down the line, multiple second-round picks, and clear a bunch of cap space, especially if they decide to move some of the other pieces. 

We could have had this over months ago, but Masai Ujiri walks out a winner with this. He landed a good set of assets, draft picks, and cap space to move forward while also not crippling his roster out of a playoff spot. This is a win-win-lose for Ujiri. He got a significant amount of assets without being forced to commit to an immediate tanking scheme, but he still lost a superstar. 

And that's the big thing to remember here. If Carmelo Anthony were to have a crisis of conscience, call up Ujiri, and say "I want to stay. I'll sign the extension," Melo would still be in uniform tomorrow for the Nuggets like he said he would be. Because four good players an a pick is great, but you'll always take the All-Star. That's why they're All-Stars. 

But beyond that, this was their All-Star. Thats what will get lost in all this. Tomorrow thousands of kids with Melo jerseys will wake up in Denver owning throwbacks. Fans have lost their guy. The All-Star. The crown jewel. The sports hero. He was drafted there. When Joe Dumars looked over him, Denver committed to him. They put pieces in place to help him win a championship, and now they have a B- point guard, an Italian shooter, an expiring wing, and a Russian big to try and fill that whole. They can't have the title contention and rebuild. Not how it works in this league. 

So the Nuggets will have decisions to make once this season is over. Blow it up completely? Try and land anothers superstar? Commit to Lawson-Afflalo-Gallo? What do they do with Nene? These are all things that will have to be answered between now and Thursday, and then this summer under a new CBA. But for an impossible situation with very little hope, and against a formidable trade partner across the table, the Nuggets have walked away with some dignity, some value, and some hope. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded, and the franchise isn't in ruins.

"Thank God for Isiah Thomas" should be on a billboard outside the Pepsi Center. 

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:58 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

wow Keru, is everyone in Denver as cynical as you? or idiotic? Anyone that says sports are fixed and believes it, is an idiot. So Boston getting Garnett & Allen didn't propel them to the Finals? According to you it was all the NBA. Carmelo probably loved fans like you in Denver, always saying that is was fixed that the Lakers won.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:53 pm

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

In the interest of full discosure -  Yes I am a Nuggets fan and yes I am grumpy. Now, that being said, the NBA has evolved from a spot to sports entertainment. With it's seemingly pre-determined outcomes ensuring finals match ups between major-maket teams, it's little more than the WWE. At times it's almost unwatchable. But, that seems to be okay with the masses. I guess we can all pick our favorite team of all-star individuals and wait for them to come to town and play our local version of the Washington Generals. Congratulations David Stern! 

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:24 pm

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Like many Nuggets fans, I know watching the team will be a lot less fun without Melo, who has been an underrated NBA superstar for his entire career.  Most outside of Denver don't know what a clutch player Carmelo Anthony is, but now that he's in NYC, that will change.  Same with Denver native Chauncey Billups, who does have an NBA finals MVP and championship rings from his years in Detroit.  Like a true fan though, I'll man up and watch and root for the Denver Nuggets even as I did in the miserable years prior to 2003 when Melo was drafted.  At least Denver won't be like post-LeBron James Cleveland, empty handed at the end of the day.

Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:22 pm

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Why do you call Melo a trouble maker, all he did was to make a decision that he thought was in his best interests. The Nuggets Fans Iam sure sorry to see him go, but the NBA is a busness and this was a business decision on Melos part

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:21 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Only the Knicks got is a guaranteed yearly run at the lottery.....

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:14 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Knicks got the best player in the deal... They win the deal.  This article is a joke.

Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 9:42 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

now if they turn around and trade gilliani and the russian to new jersey for 2 1st round draft picks  (like ws reported yesterday) denver truly would have hit the lottery

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 9:38 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Matt Moore is an east coast twerp.  He ripped on the denver management for months, ripped on the city of denver likening it to a west texas prison that carmelo needed to escape from.
And MATT MOORE aka EAST COAST TWERP refuses still to give denver the credit they earned.  They didn't stumble, they took advantage

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 8:48 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

N.Y. got fleecec! Great job by the Denver managment, they are the true winners here. Go Nuggets!

Since: May 30, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2011 7:24 am

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

Denver has got to be one of the smartest deal mankers in the histroy of the NBA. I have really become a Knicks fan as of late with the new players they have brought on board and I love the Knicks fans with the excitement they bring to the games. Yes, In a strange way I wanted the Knicks to get Anthony but it never crossed my mind they would give away three of the five starters. Do we even think that the Lakers would have traded three of their starters.  Danilo Gallinari really impressed and was just rounding into a new star. Guess he impressed Denver also. Raymond Felton can run the point on any NBA team and Wison Chandler has a ton of talent and can start or six man for probably any NBA team. Top if off they gave away that frist round pick for 2014 and two seconds. Then Denver was not done they just told the Knicks to throw in Timofey Mozgov. Never heard of him have you. Raw talent in that 7-1 250 pound body at age 25, look out. Denver is rebuilding and going no where this year. No problem. They have the rest of the season to set up for next year, do the training camp thing, and let the fellows get used to the high altitude. For my Knicks they have to get a new group of players ready to learn how to play together in a week or two if they can. A loosing streak of any kind will not fit well with the fans. Denver unloading their trouble maker and got a group of really fine young men that will probably put them into the playoffs for years to come. If all goes well and the Knicks come out a winner all will be good. But watch out. If Melo gets moody and the fans even think about a boo he will lay down. Denver is a winner for sure, Melo got his millions, and the jury is out to see if the Knicks did the right thing or not. I think that they will make the playoffs and will probably win the first series. After that it will be a rough ride as they will have to face some of the best teams we have had in the NBA for years. Sure hope they make it or someone in top management with the Knicks might also wish they had been able to go to Denver.

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