I kept running that name over and over in my head since his name surfaced in a possible deal for the Nuggets' best player, Carmelo Anthony. Something fishy was afoot and things, on a second and third glance, look to have fallen apart.
I think the scariest thing in horror movies are those scenes where nothing scary really happens but there's that incident where there's just something....not....right. Something where it shouldn't be. Seeing something out of the corner of your eye that you can't identify. That's how I look at this fizzling trade proposal involving Carmelo Anthony: it's just....not....right.
When I first heard the proposed trade of Anthony for Derrick Favors, Andrei Kirilenko and future first round picks I thought: "Interesting....well, I guess that's what you get when you trade a superstar. But AK47? Really?" Something didn't make sense. Then, as the layers of this proposed trade were pulled apart, things suddenly went from questionable to downright fishy.
Follow me, please, and we will look at this strictly from the Nuggets perspective (not including the Bobcat's issues with Boris Diaw).
Fishy smell Number 1: Andrei Kirilenko. Why would the Nuggets trade for a small forward who's made of glass, just for the cap relief, while not trying to replace just a little Melo's point production? This never made any sense to me. If you're going to adopt a motion offense then that's great, but Nuggets head coach George Karl doesn't run a motion offense. Karl's offense is based on isolations and creating breaks. Accommodating Kirilenko would require a philosophy change in George Karl that I don't see happening.
Fishy smell Number 2: Cap hit. Thanks to Denver Stiffs readers and posters who know far more about this than I do, in the proposed trade the Nuggets would take on more salary than they are giving up against the cap. The Nuggets are already over the luxury tax line with the addition of Al Harrington. Andrei Kirilenko makes MORE money (believe it or not) than Carmelo does this year ($18 million vs Melo's $17 million), so that puts the Nuggets even farther over the luxury tax line. With Stan and Josh Kroenke being frugal of late, why would the Nuggets make a deal that has them paying out even MORE luxury tax money? That's not even including Derrick Favors' salary ($4 million). With the luxury tax set at just over $70 million that's another $5 million into luxury tax hell. Why would a a rebuilding team do that to itself?
What bothers me is this trade seems like it was put together with no actual knowledge of where the Nuggets were in terms of the luxury tax. Look at it this way: the Nuggets salaries this year total $83 million. Adding AK47 and Favors would make it about $88 million. The luxury tax line is $70 million. You do the math.
Fishy smell Nuber 3: 2011 Draft pick. Now if this was a scene from "Matlock" I'd get up and say "Now, I'm not a big city lawyer, but I can tell you that the 2011 draft will suck" or something along those lines. Any trade that would include a pick for the 2011 draft should be discarded immediately. If there is a lockout, all the best talent will wait until 2012 and you'd be getting a high "scrub" draft pick. Yuck.
This proposed deal with New Jersey, Charlotte, and Utah was needlessly complicated to the point of absurdity. To the extent where I'm questioning how "genuine" this trade proposal was in the first place. It seems as though New Jersey has been used in a great parlor game and it makes me wonder if they will come calling ever again.
It's important to point out that anything could still happen. But all the peripheral evidence is pointing to a likely sad end to this proposed deal. There's late word that the Nuggets may try to include Philly to get their hands on Andre Iguodala which is interesting. I'd take Iggy over AK47 any day. But lets face it folks, if Melo doesn't sign the extension (i.e. give his approval to the trade) then it's all a moot point.
The grand parlor game continues and who knows what Melo will do when confronted by the 4th Estate tomorrow.
Get ready for the most awkward press conference ever and watch out for that indescribable thing that shouldn't be where it is because you are either in an H.P. Lovecraft story, or you're part of a four-team trade.