Who to believe? Ric Bucher of ESPN has put his reputation on the line with his latest phone interview on ESPN and his radio appearance on "The Doug Gottlieb Show" with firm talk that Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver. At the time of this writing, Melo's latest Tweet seems to be directed at Bucher's inaccuracy.
For those of you who didn't see Melo's Tweet, here it is, "Funny how people come up with there own analysis of a situation. I tell you boy....... Unbelievable". I would venture to guess Melo is discussing the story that has been up on ESPN all day that he wants out of Denver and he is going to do what it takes to make sure that he's gone before the season starts. Bucher mentioned that New York is an obvious possible destination and he said perhaps Houston has enough to make a deal with the Nuggets. In the Gottlieb interview Bucher says that Melo doesn't see Denver as a team on the rise and that things have run their course. Yes, the Knicks are definitely a team on the rise ... ha ha ha.
So, who are these sources that Bucher is listening to? Is Bucher just talking to a person who once saw Melo at the airport in Baltimore? If that is the case then the source could be one of my family members, but that was years ago. Being a journalism major I know that you are not supposed to really use sources that wont go on record, but in professional sports people wont deliver the goods unless they certain their name will not be used.
I do believe that Bucher is using reliable sources or he wouldn't have a job as nobody in the league would continue talking to him. So, how long before we know if Bucher is right or if he's wrong? Well, October 27th is opening night and Bucher is saying Melo wants to be in a different uniform as soon as this season. In the meantime, we wait ... like we've been waiting and will continue to wait.
I took my shot at looking over deals and possible locations and I didn't like what I saw. My favorite idea would be to keep Melo in Denver, have the Nuggets continue to add the pieces they need around him, and for Melo to bring Denver its first NBA title.
The thing about staying in Denver is that it will take a little more time to keep adjusting the roster. We all know of Denver's two expiring contracts with Kenyon Martin ($16.5 million) and J.R. Smith ($6 million) as well as the team option held on Chauncey Billups' $14.2 million. Could the Nuggets find three guys to replace the ones I just listed that would improve the team? Without a doubt the Nuggets must restructure and bring Billups back, but they cannot afford to bring him back at $14.2 million.
But what the Nuggets need most is a Pau Gasol clone or Dwight Howard's twin to walk through the Pepsi Center doors begging for a contract. If this whole mess is about basketball and winning games then there is still a shot to keep #15. If this mess is about getting into a bigger market and making more of a brand ... well, the Nuggets can't offer what some other markets can.
To me, the future in Denver with Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson, and the presence of Nene and Al Harrington is a promising thing. Other pieces can and will be added and we'll have to continue to wait to see how long #15 will be a part of that core.