It's been reported that Denver has been pissing off and confusing GMs since the failed 4 way with Utah, Charlotte and NJ, and right now NJ is reconsidering their options as well. Since I'm about as confused as the next person, help me clear some things up....
1. What does your team really want to do?
Trade Melo or keep Melo?
If you guys do want to keep him, it seems rather easy to do. Melo has said signing the extension is his #1 priority.
If that's the case, Denver should just hold on to him past the trade deadline, and then Melo will be forced to sign the extension or risk losing a lot of money trying to get to NY on his own in 2011.
2. If you guys want to trade Melo, do you want to stay competitive or do an all out rebuild?
It seems this is where NJ has been getting frustrated. According to reports, Denver consistently changes their demands, and constantly asks for more.
It's pretty hard to do both, and one generally comes at the expense of the other, so there seemingly must be a clear preference.
3. How would you rank Melo's priorities?
Extension, winning, being in NYC area.
According to him the extension is the #1 priority, or at least he said he is going to sign wherever he goes.
But if he hasn't signed it yet, perhaps it is not his priority?
If winning is a priority, doesn't staying in Denver make the most sense?
Denver has the best team of all 3, and has the assets and expirers to get better.
Also, if winning is his priority, do you really think you have a chance of sending Melo a to an at best mediocre NJ completely stripped of all assets? Wouldn't Melo wants his potential team to be as good as possible? Denver wants 5 1st rounders and for NJ to take on as much salary and bad contracts as possible. They also are waiting and waiting while NJ gets further and further out of the playoff race. Why would Melo want to be part of that?
If being in the NYC area, is a priority doesn't that pretty much eliminate Houston and Dallas?
4. Is Denver waiting as long as possible to show Melo how good this team can be, or are there other reason?
If Denver really wants to see how good this team can be fully healthy, don't they already know the answer to this? This team has been together for several years, has made the WCF and playoffs. What exactly do they hope to show Melo or realize about themselves by waiting an extra month or two? They haven't added much new talent, and even that should be off-set by the aging and injuries to the veteran players.
Is it to make NJ's #1 as good as possible?
If so, I don't that will work. The longer they wait, the worse NJ gets and the less likely Melo would be willing to extend with them, IMO. They are quickly fading from the playoff race, and I can't see Melo wanting to be part of a 25 win team with no chance of the playoffs playoffs.
Is to make as much money as possible with ticket sales?
If, so I've heard fans are getting impatient as well and ticket sales have been declining this year. Wouldn't a resolution bring back some fans and enthusiasm?
5. Are there really better offers out there than NJ's?
I haven't heard any others offers really.
Cuban shot down the speculation Dallas was interested.
NY doesn't seem desperate. They have Amare, are winning, and they know Melo wants to play in NYC.
Houston could be an option, but it seems all signs point to Melo wanting to be in a NYC market (otherwise why wouldn't he have extended with Denver who can give his money and field the best team)
Anyone else would have to be looked as renting an unextended Melo, and thus the offers lower.
6. If NJ gave the following ultimatum, what do you do?
If you would not take it, what would your next course of action be?
-Favors, Murphy, '11 LAL #1, '12 HOU #1, '12 MIA #2, $3m Cash
-Decide by January 15th
"Get as many teams involved as you want, but those are the only pieces we are willing to give"
"We will take on as much salary as the above trade allows"
"We've laid out our best offer a long time ago and showed we are serious"
"We don't think anyone can beat our offer"
"We need to move on, and this could give us about 1 month to make moves prior to the trade deadline. Our team is fading from the playoffs race and fans impatient. We need to make a move."
"The longer you wait, the worse our team will be and the less Melo will be willing to extend here, and we are not trading for an un-extended Melo"
7. Are you guys nervous that waiting/holding on to Melo too long is going to back fire?
Again, I think the biggest risk is here is that they could lose the NJ offer. NJ could start pulling pieces, after being willing to offer what seemed like the best offer, or more likely I think Melo would be the one to ultimately a rule out going to NJ.
Again, I cannot see Melo going to NJ in a month when:
-They are out of the playoff race completely
-They are devoid of talent and assets
-They are saddled by bad contracts
NY doesn't seem to be in any rush. They are winning, they have a face of the franchise and they know NY is Melo's preferred destination.
If Denver makes a move now they could still convince Melo to extend with NJ and they can move on from this dilemma and decide what the next course of action is. Until then, it seems like they are at a crossroads that all depends on Melo. Wouldn't some closure benefit the team and the fan base?
8. I've asked you to answer these questions from the Denver Front Office perspective. Do you agree with them, or would your approach be different?