Did you think the MeloDrama was over? We still have a fortnight plus a day just to get to the trade deadline. If you thought things were bad up to this point in time, just wait a week. And then wait a week more. When news broke yesterday that the Nuggets brass had been in contact with the hated Los Angeles Lakers all hell broke loose here on Denver Stiffs. What I want to know, Nuggets fans, is what deal do you want to see the team make?
Note: To the non-Nuggets fans reading this, please don't vote on the poll if you want to see accurate numbers of what Nuggets fans want. Thank you.
Let's take a look at the players involved ...
Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles Lakers
Age: 23, turns 24 on October 27, 2011
Weight: 285 lbs Height: 7'0''
Key stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Contract after the season: 2-years and $31.5 million (2012-13 is team option season of $16.4M)
Nate's analysis: Yes, Bynum has serious injury issues. But nobody has seen Bynum at his best like Nuggets fans have. We've seen the kid's length almost completely render Nene useless in playoff serieses and regular season games. Nene typically dominates other centers, but the big Bynum bothers Nene and every other guy that goes against him. I love Bynum's ability on the offensive glass as he's often giving his team second chance opportunities. And when he gets the ball inside, he keeps it high and out of the reach of his defenders for easy layups and dunks. With Bynum in Denver's starting five, and if he were to play next to Nene, the Nuggets instantly have one of the best frontcourts in the league. He's that tantilizing of a prospect. If Bynum were to come to Denver in a trade for Melo, then the Nuggets would need to fill the small forward spot with J.R. Smith and Al Harrington.
Wilson Chandler - New York Knicks
Age: 23, turns 24 on May 10, 2011
Weight: 225 lbs Height: 6'8''
Key stats: 16.4 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.34 bpg, 35% 3pt shooting
Contract after the season: If gets qualifying offer of $3M will be a Restricted Free-Agent. If no Q.O. will become Unrestricted Free-Agent
Nate's analysis: Some folks would say Chandler's numbers are skewed because of head coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive system, the same way Shawn Marion's were or other players with the Suns and Knicks. When Marion left Phoenix his numbers declined, but he was 28 years-old when he left the Suns and isn't the young buck that Chandler is. Chandler doesn't just hang out near the three-point line like Raja Bell did in Phoenix. He can score from anywhere on the floor and he can get out on the fast-break. Wilson is an above average rebounder for his position, blocks quite a few shots and is a good defender. Chandler could step right in for Melo at SF and replace some of his numbers. I'm going to be in the minority here, but I believe Chandler will continue to grow as a player and could become a very good all-around player in the league ... perhaps a borderline all-star. The issue of dealing for Chandler is the uncertainty of Denver's ability to re-sign him because of his asking price (Granger type money) and his desire to be a Nugget.
Danilo Gallinari - New York Knicks
Age: 22, turns 23 on August 8, 2011
Weight: 225 lbs Height: 6'10''
Key stats: 16 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 42% FG%, 36% 3pt shooting, 6.0 free-throw attempts per game
Contract after the season: 1-year and $4.1 million and a qualifying after the 2011-12 season of $5.5M to become a Restricted Free-Agent
Nate's analysis: I mentioned this in the FanShot Melo/Bynum thread today, but when I first started watching Gallo I was less than impressed. I traded texts with my colleague Jeff Morton early in the season about my worries that Gallo looked lost on the court at times and how he didn't seem to meet a shot he didn't like. But as the season has progressed and as I've watched more-and-more Knicks games, I like a little more of what I see from the Italian. He isn't afraid to take the big shot, he has shown he can get to the rim in a herky-jerky style similar to Dirk Nowitzki (but with more athleticism) and he gets to the foul line (and once there he shoots 88%). He isn't the best defender around, but he puts in the effort on defense and as his familiarity with the game grows ... so will his defense. My fear with Gallo is that he's comfortable and feels at home with the Knicks and in New York. The stadium announcer says his name in a special way after he sinks a bucket and I fear his motivation might dip if he's not in a good situation mentally. It's tough to admit, but going from New York to Denver from a basketball standpoint isn't ideal.
Landry Fields - New York Knicks
Age: 22, turns 24 on June 27, 2011
Weight: 210 lbs Height: 6'7''
Key stats: 10.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 52% FG%, 39% 3pt shooting
Contract after the season: 1-year and $788,872, he then can become an Unrestricted Free Agent
Nate's analysis: Are you familiar with Arron Afflalo? Put some two-inch lifts in AAA's shoes and you have Fields. The hard working rookie out of Stanford was selected in the second-round of the draft (39th overall). If it wasn't for Blake Griffin, Fields might be getting pretty high consideration for Rookie of the Year. Fields can shoot the three, loves to run on the fast-break, is a great rebounder and not just for a shooting guard and is a willing defender. Fields is the ultimate role player and a key player for any team with established stars. He's a guy you want on your team, you just hope you don't have to lean on him for more than he can produce. Fields is the type of player that will give his all no matter the situation and should see improvement in his coming NBA years. I don't think Fields will ever make an all-star game, but he should be a guy that makes you say, "We never would have won that title without Fields."
Corey Brewer - Minnesota Timberwolves
Age: 24, turns 25 on March 5, 2011
Weight: 188 lbs Height: 6'9''
Key stats: 8.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 27% 3pt shooting
Contract after the season: $3.7 million and a qualifying offer after the 2011-12 season for $4.9M to become a Restricted Free Agent
Nate's analysis: I believe Brewer is involved in a potential three-team trade because his contract is up at the end of this season. Thus, Brewer is just an expiring contract. Like my colleague Andrew Feinstein has pointed out, Brewer, if he became a Nugget, would be yet another Denver shooting guard who cannot shoot ... like DerMarr Johnson. Brewer had potential when he was drafted 7th overall in 2007 out of Florida, but he's too skinny to defend guys like Carmelo Anthony and I believe he's been around too much losing in Minnesota and has developed poor habits as a professional.
Those are the options right now for the Nuggets. There should be some other names that pop up as this process is nowhere near the end. I expect things to come down to the day of the deadline for this MeloDrama to end. The Nuggets have waiting until now, so why wouldn't the front office just continue to wait a little longer to explore all their options? So hang in there my fellow Stiffs ... just 15 days to go!
Melodrama could take many turns - Mark Kiszla, Denver Post
Kiz lets us know the Nuggets are searching for options on where they could deal Melo besides to New York. He also talks about how more options may come as this wears on.
NBA AM: James Dolan Gets Involved in Carmelo Talks - Steve Kyler, Hoopsworld
I'm not too sure that Knicks fans want their owner calling Stan Kroenke directly, but he's doing it anyway. Since all decisions for Denver seem to be finalized by the elder Kroenke anyway, I guess this works. Maybe Stan can talk Dolan into giving the Nuggets Patrick Ewing circa 1991.
NBA Chat with Eric Pincus - Hoopsworld
Pincus covers the Lakers and Clippers and serves up a chat that is very Melo/Bynum centric. It's worth a read and if you are not following Pincus on Twitter, I suggest you do so.
Reported Lakers-Carmelo scenario is from summer talks - Alan Hahn, Newsday.com
Hahn tells us that the Lakers/Nuggets had talks over the summer about Bynum for Melo swap and it's Denver who is re-igniting the talks now.
John Hollinger - ESPN Trade Machine
Hollinger posted an article discussing a Bynum for Melo swap, but it's on NBA insider. He got creative with a trade and I posted the public linke to his trade machine idea here. It's a doozy involving 12 players and three trade exceptions. In the deal the Nuggets would get a headcase and a guy who once grabbed some junk for the Nuggets.
Anthony's act not dose of toughness Lakers need - Jeff Miller, The Orange County Register
A pretty good read on why the Lakers should not trade for Melo. And a few shots at Bynum.
Trading for Carmelo Anthony not in Lakers' plans - Kevin Ding, The Orange County Register
The title says a little bit of it, but a good breakdown of money due to Bynum, Anthony on the extension and some other finances for the Lakeshow.
Lakers should say hello, Melo, make deal - Mark Whicker, The Orange County Register
One writer in L.A. wants the Lakers to pull the trigger on a Melo deal. Whicker talks a bit about Bynum's injured knee and some offseason stuff about his recovery. I highly recommend reading this one if you only can pick one to read!!
J.R. Smith in Oakland - Twitter
The unintentional comedy from following J.R. on Twitter? You get to see goofy pictures like this one of him in Oakland right after arrival.
The NBA's 3-Point contest is set - Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo! Sports
There is one name that didn't make this list ... he's a Nugget ... he's underappreciated ... need any more clues?
Opinion: Afflalo's accuracy deserved spot in 3-point contest - Aaron Lopez, Nuggets.com
The all-star game is in Los Angeles this year, Afflalo's hometown. Shame he wont be included in the contest.
Nuggets' Chauncey Billups OK after knee MRI shows no serious damage - Chris Dempsey, Denver Post
One word for this one: Phew!
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