Just like Carmelo Anthony (allegedly) wants to do, I'm packing up my things and leaving Denver for New York...
...for this weekend only. (Hey, what's wrong with having a little fun around here?) My annual summer escape to New York is upon me and I'm in much need of some rest and relaxation...and a little partying, too.
I'm not going to write much about the latest installment of the "will-or-won't-Carmelo-stay-in-Denver?" saga, brought to you late yesterday by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. I've been writing about Melo's imminent departure from Denver since mid-July and while I don't think anything Wojnarowski wrote Thursday afternoon should be considered definitive, if the dots aren't connecting for Nuggets fans now, when will they?
Whether you're enamored with all-things-Melo or not, I think most Nuggets fans (me included) can agree on one thing: the team is better off with a happy Carmelo Anthony staying in Denver. But unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be the reality and thus, the Nuggets organization - with their new general manager on board - are faced with two options: trade Melo to the highest bidder, or force Melo to play for Denver throughout the 2010-11 season and hope things sort themselves out both on and off the court.
From my vantage point, the Nuggets really only have one option and that's to trade the best Nugget since Alex English before the season begins. And considering that multiple teams are (allegedly) lining up to secure Melo's services, the Nuggets find themselves with adequate leverage to make a good - albeit not great - deal, something I alluded to almost two weeks ago and was laughed out of the room by many loyal Nuggets fans.
The day Carmelo Anthony departs Denver will be a sad one for Nuggets fans. We won't get equal value for Denver's lone superstar and it's possible that our eighth consecutive postseason appearance will vanish. But having seen the carnage left in the wake of LeBron James and Chris Bosh's departures from Cleveland and Toronto, respectively, I for one am glad that the Nuggets are being proactive here and are playing hardball with Melo's representation (lest we forget that Melo is represented by the same bad actors who coaxed LeBron out of Cleveland).
Moreover, I believe a post-Carmelo future could be bright for Denver basketball fans. We will get some value in return for Anthony combined with the departing salaries of Kenyon Martin and (hopefully) J.R. Smith, giving the Nuggets some cap room to make noise with. Throw in an enthusiastic, young, bright, basketball-loving owner, an enthusiastic, young, bright, basketball-loving GM with a terrific life story (more on Masai Ujiri to come when I get back to Denver...let's just say I'm hearing great things from my friends who cover the Raptors) and the remarkable and inspiring return from cancer treatment by Nuggets head coach George Karl, and I feel as though an exciting, fresh start is on the near horizon.
If Carmelo Anthony doesn't want to be a part of the Nuggets renaissance that's upon us nor play in one of the best sports cities in America, so be it. I won't beg him to stay and neither should you.
I'm Melo'd out.