For months many have suggested that the Mavericks could be trade partners with the Nuggets in a “rent-a-Melo” scenario. But with Caron Butler lost for the season due to injury, don’t expect a Nuggets/Mavs deal.

Were the Nuggets to deal Carmelo Anthony to a team other than the Nets in a rental situation (i.e. the receiving team takes a three-month flyer on #15 hoping to get to the Finals and by doing so, convince him to re-sign with his new team), the likely candidates were previously the Atlanta Hawks (for Josh Smith plus picks), Orlando Magic (Vince Carter‘s expiring contract, Marcin Gortat plus picks) and the Dallas Mavericks (Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood plus picks).

But with the Magic dealing Carter and Gortat to Phoenix and the Mavs losing Butler for the season, the Nuggets rental recipients may have been reduced to the Hawks only.  Because even though Carter and Butler are both on expiring contracts, they each would have been good enough to keep the Nuggets in the playoff hunt in a post-Melo world, while giving the Nuggets salary cap flexibility at season's end.  I simply don't foresee the Nuggets getting just cap relief without a shot at the playoffs this season in any Melo deal.

Scouring the web for Nuggets-related content, it turns out I wasn't the only one speculating about Dallas possibly being a destination for Melo, even with Butler going down for the season…

Carmelo Anthony Rejects Denver Nuggets: Dallas Mavericks Potential Suitors? | Bleacher Report
Andrew Pierluissi cites Mark Cuban's comments about being a possible "rental" trading partner as reason to believe that the Nuggets and Mavericks could deal for Melo.

Mavs' Caron Butler has season-ending knee surgery – NBA – Yahoo! Sports
Mavericks forward Caron Butler had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right knee, likely sidelining him for the rest of the season. It's a big blow for Dallas and Butler, who is eligible for free agency this summer. 

Mark Cuban jabs Phil Jackson as ‘Jeanie Buss’ boy-toy’ – ESPN Dallas
Mark Cuban apparently didn’t appreciate Lakers coach Phil Jackson offering his opinion about the impact of Caron Butler’s season-ending knee injury. Which begs the question: when Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson feud, who do Nuggets fans root for??

Broncos season is over; it’s catch-up time with the Nuggets | All Things Nuggets
Chris Dempsey writes that the Nuggets have had a season’s worth of stories in just over two months. If you haven’t paid attention, he catches us up.

Nuggets get depth charge from bench – The Denver Post
Dempsey also talks to George Karl about the Nuggets terrific second unit.

Ten things that made 2010 an NBA year to remember |
Pierluissi bases much of his theory on David Aldridge's "report" that Melo will NOT re-sign with the Nuggets.  Aldridge seems to be hanging out with Ken Berger and Adrian Wojnarowski too much.

Lakers’ new drama draws low ratings – NBA – Yahoo! Sports
Speaking of Wojnarowski, Woj writes that Phil Jackson’s criticism of Ron Artest and Pau Gasol could make his final title run his most difficult yet.

David Kahn predicts Darko will be an NBA All-Star –
Further proof that David Kahn is the NBA's solo version of Dumb and Dumber, Kahn predicts that Darko will be an NBA All-Star.