As we enter into another week of the never-ending Melo-drama, a single proposed trade has caused this Nuggets fan to question life, the universe, and everything.
I've been disappointed in Masai Ujiri the last two days since it was speculated that Chauncey was included in the proposed three team trade with the New Jersey Nets and the Detroit Pistons. it just rubs me the wrong way. Yes, there's a large majority of us who want this ordeal to be over (myself included) and there needs to be a resolution. Truth be told, however, I was shocked and saddened Chauncey Billups was included.
Not, mind you, because any particular player is "untouchable" when it comes to individual trades. Yet when you include a player who is loyal to the city of Denver (unlike Carmelo Anthony) and has expressed a desire to stay long term (even talking about joining the front office) it is very unseemly to cast aside him to just facilitate a trade that will subject the people of Denver to bad basketball for the foreseeable future. Chauncey is owed the right to determine his own future to some extent. This trade proposal is just cynical.
Don't you think Chauncey deserves better than that? Listen ... I'm aware I wrote a rather harsh column about Chauncey in November. I simply advocated they reduce his minutes or have him come off the bench because at the time he was playing quite badly. I would NEVER advocate Billups being thrown in to "facilitate" a trade to get Carmelo out of town. That is ludicrously short sighted. The public relations hit the Nuggets would take because of this will far outweigh losing Carmelo Anthony. It is disturbing because it will tell Nuggets fans, and Chauncey, that he's only worth being a throw-in. A native son used to grease the skids for a Melo trade to a place that clearly both men don't want to go. Thats like going to prison and asking your best friend who did nothing wrong to go with you.
I've made peace with the Nuggets pursuit of Derrick Favors. Obviously they see something in him that I haven't seen so far. So against my better judgment I've come to accept his reality. However, is it worth sacrificing your soul in order to get a trade done, or prove a point to Carmelo? The people who get hurt are the fans of Denver, and one of the few players in Nuggets history who desires to retire in his home town. It's not right.
People want a resolution to the situation. That is understandable. However, in the grand scheme of things since the Nuggets would have sought to buy out Chauncey anyway (because it looks like the Nuggets are looking to trim their payroll by ALOT) they could have re-signed Billups at a reduced price for a couple years to eventually become a backup PG or continue to play in tandem with Ty Lawson. If you trade Chauncey to the Nets in a cynical attempt to make a trade more palatable for Carmelo you may lose that opportunity forever.
In the last couple months we have seen two players show loyalty to the Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. It's good to see players who desire to stay where they are at and desire to compete at a high level. We have one player (Carmelo) who may not have anything against the city of Denver but who'd rather play somewhere else ... and another player who's being forcibly shown the door (potentially Chauncey) to facilitate a trade. Where's the loyalty from Carmelo? Where's the loyalty to Chauncey from the Nuggets? Both don't reflect well on either the Nuggets or Melo. The innocent by-stander is Chauncey Billups.
So, Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri I have to ask you ... what are you doing? Are you trying to tell us that the Nuggets are willing to sell their soul to get Melo out of here? Or has Stan and Josh Kroenke ordered a fire sale? We have heard rumors that the only people who are going to be left on the Nuggets are Ty Lawson who knows who else. I know we are soon to get a speech with the words "potential" and "young" and "building towards" after you unload Melo and (maybe) Chauncey. Just understand we've heard this all before. You're on the clock and you get no slack as far as I'm concerned. The first high draft pick you use on a flopping Euro no one has seen or heard of you should expect a heavy dose of criticism from my end at least. You OWN any trade that comes out of this. Your legacy begins now, and what you do from here on (including any trade featuring Melo) will be heavily scrutinized.
Nets fans. Be careful what you wish for. You've been gleefully picking at the carcass of the Nuggets these past few days and if this trade goes through just understand that, as much as I like Melo, he's not a complete player. Don't expect this trade (if it happens) to solve all your ills. Avery Johnson is a questionable coach, and Carmelo will only carry you so far. Get a great team around him and maybe you will compete for the Eastern Conference Championship. Maybe.
Oh, and a personal statement to Carmelo's agent Leon Rose. You disgust me. We are in the same profession and I would NEVER manipulate things the way you have. It's clear you care nothing for the fans who have supported both Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony these years in Denver. If it's true you are the mastermind behind this deal I hope you take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if taking down innocent by-standers is what you want to be known for. Not all agents (myself included) are like this. We do what's best for our clients, we shouldn't involve ourselves in personnel decisions with other teams. It's unseemly and the entire state of Colorado has every right o be upset at YOU specifically.
Color me truly disgusted. Color me bitter. I was ok with letting Melo go, but the circumstances of this proposed deal make me sick to my stomach for Chauncey.
The Clock starts when a trade happens.
No escaping pain, you belong to me
Clinging on to life by the skin of my teeth