All the reports covering the supposed Carmelo Anthony-to-New Jersey trade have Nuggets leader and Denver native Chauncey Billups included in the deal. But no one is asking why he has to be. Here's a way to get this deal done and keep Billups in Denver...
I can understand why Carmelo Anthony and the Nets want Chauncey Billups to go to New Jersey in this mega-Melo deal. After parting with point guard Devin Harris to acquire Melo, the Nets will need a quality point guard to fill that void and in order to re-sign Melo long term, the Nets will need to surround Melo with talent from Day One.
But there's an intangible factor here, and Chauncey's poor play against the Hornets showed this as did his alleged "day off with an illness" from practice on Tuesday: Chauncey will be miserable and possibly dispirited in New Jersey. Denver is his birthplace, was his offseason home when he played elsewhere and is his, his wife and his family's home now. Moreover, not only does Chauncey NOT want to be traded, but he wants to be a part of the Nuggets front office down the road.
So here's my proposal to get this deal done. Since the Nuggets will likely be taking back a very talented but mercurial and erratic shooting guard in Anthony Morrow, why not send away their own very talented but mercurial shooting guard in J.R. Smith and throw-in Al Harrington, too? J.R. and Harrington's salaries combined match Billups' anyway. Additionally, both J.R. and Harrington are from New Jersey and have a close relationship because of their Garden State roots.
If the Nuggets want to rebuild on the fly, the best way to do this is with quality veteran leadership mentoring the youngsters. I can think of no better person for this role than Chauncey Billups.
The Nuggets can and should trade Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. But being forced to include Chauncey in the deal isn't sitting well with this Nuggets fan nor thousands of others.
Here's a rundown of the latest Melodrama talk...
Before resuming trade talks for Carmelo Anthony(notes) on Monday, the Denver Nuggets delivered a stern warning to the New Jersey Nets: Unless the public nature of these trade discussions becomes private, be warned that we will send Anthony to the New York Knicks.
And most interestingly...
Billups would prefer to stay in Denver, but to make him more comfortable about the trade, the Nets are expected to commit to paying him the full $14.2 million he’s due next season in the final year of his contract rather than buying him out for just $3.7 million this summer, league sources told Y! Sports’ Marc Spears.
The Nuggets' leaders are doing an incredible job of extricating the most value from the Nets, who have been willing, and able (with draft picks), to complete a deal with the Nuggets since before the season began.
Nuggets fans have been growing increasingly antsy at the Anthony saga, booing Melo during Sunday night's loss to New Orleans. But they are overwhelmingly irritated at the prospect of losing Billups and have been vocal on talk radio and social networks such as Twitter.
"The whole thing with the whole Chauncey situation, it's ... kind of hard for me to see him involved in that knowing what (the Nuggets) did to get him here in Denver, and knowing he's from Denver, knowing this is home and he represents the city of Denver."
Asked how the trade talk is affecting his team, Karl said: "The only way I can answer that is – we’re all human beings. We’re all somewhat affected by thoughts and comments and sarcasm and criticism. We’re all affected by it."
The greatest line [Avery] Johnson had today was when someone asked him if he dreams of coaching Anthony. Here’s his reply and note the swipe at Brook Lopez: "No. What I dream about I really honest to god truth, I dream about our center getting 10 rebounds. I dream about us having a game where we get 25 plus assists in back-to-back games. That’s the kind of stuff I dream about right now. I dream about when we’re wide, wide open we make our shots."
Sources close to the negotiations have told HOOPSWORLD that they heard it from the horses mouth that Anthony will, in fact, sign a three-year $65 million extension should he be traded to New Jersey.
The biggest stumbling block now is Al Harrington. Denver wants to add him to its list of players headed to New Jersey, but the Nets are reluctant to acquire him because of the four years and $28 million remaining on his deal.
"When Anthony was asked after last night's loss to New Orleans whether he believed he had played his last game for the Nuggets, he uttered the same phrase five times: 'Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. Just not at all.'"
And from the archives (June 22nd, 2008)...
Sources: Anthony's reps, Nuggets' brass to address trade rumors - NBA - ESPN
Representatives for Carmelo Anthony will meet with Denver Nuggets management on Monday to discuss the possibility of a trade, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.