If the Yahoo Sports article on Carmelo Anthony is accurate, and if I were advising Josh Kroenke, Bret Bearup and Masi Ujiri I would one thing only.
Cap space is better than draft pics in this case. Letting Carmelo walk at the end of the season benefits the Nuggets in a great many ways.
Now....there are some of you who will scoff at this notion, however, there is value in not giving in to the likes of Worldwide Wes and CAA. You prove a point that you're not going to be pushed around by thugs (I say this based on their reported behavior).....seriously. Why be forced into a bad trade for iffy talent and "potential". Particularly if losing Melo means George Karl walks at the end of the year. Do the fans of Denver want to go through THIS again? No....If Melo walks you free up 18 million in additional cap space.
Melo: 18 million
Kmart: 16 million
JR: 6 million
I'm no math major....but methinks that adds up to 40 million. Also, lets keep in mind Chauncey would most likely restructure his deal to stay in Denver. That's additional space made. And Nene's contract is up the following season. He can either restructure or retire or get moved.
Lets also take this in to consideration. What's the point of acquiring "draft picks" (in which the Nuggets have a bad history anyway) if there will be a lockout next year? Think about it. What's the point? If there's a hard cap the Nuggets will be sitting pretty on the other end, in better cap shape than anyone else, ready to take advantage when teams shed payroll to get under the cap.
I understand that people think we should get younger and rebuild. Fine....but if you have the cap space for proven players why not explore it? Why is it a gamble when we will be rebuilding anyway? No team is going to gut their roster for us, and quite frankly I wouldn't if I was looking to trade for Melo. Teams know they have the Nuggets over a barrel and they intend to exploit it.
I know it's not a popular position, but I think the cap flexibility and the uncertainty of the lockout (even if there isn't one the Nuggets STILL have plenty of cap space) makes letting Melo walk (plus taking a stand against being pushed around by Worldwide Wes) just as attractive.
My two cents