sign and trade

Top 3 Teams in Play for Carmelo Anthony

Despite the fact that the New York Knicks “were” the favorable destination for 2011’s top free agent in Carmelo Anthony it looks as though the Nuggets aren’t interested in becoming trading partners. As Sam Amico reported via Twitter this past Saturday the Nuggets will try to trade Carmelo to three teams: Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and the New Jersey Nets.

Which team will I pick?

There’s no doubt in my mind that Melo will in fact be traded before this year’s trade deadline. For one Carmelo has pretty much painted a clear picture to the Nuggets organization that he doesn’t have much interest in signing an extension. For two Carmelo continuously speaks to the media discussing his future plans in which he recently just expressed his interest in possibly joining the Houston Rockets.

But the third and final reason has to deal with the team that currently holds the rights to their franchise player, the Denver Nuggets.  Don’t forget they have their own agenda, their own goals, their own future to look forward too, as does Anthony. I can assure you the Denver Nuggets will take notes and examine what just happened to Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers with “The Decision”. There’s no way Anthony will depart from Denver without the Nuggets receiving some valuable compensation.

While Anthony may in fact have his own preferences of teams, the Nuggets also have their own. In which case brings up a very interesting story to follow: How will the Nuggets successfully pull off a blockbuster trade to their liking?

It begins with narrowing down the teams you’re interested in doing business with and they’ve already established that in the Timberwolves, Kings, and Nets. It’s been noted all offseason long that the Denver Nuggets have been out searching for a young power forward to replace their current aging and overpaid power forwards in Nene Hilario and Kenyon Martin. Each of the three teams mentioned as Denver’s favorite trading partners can offer the ideal young power forward the Nuggets have been searching for.

Love could be the piece to bring Melo to Minny.

In Minnesota it’s Kevin Love, a young post man currently a member of the young Team USA team participating in Turkey. Love’s a player who has expressed mixed emotions upon being a member of the Timberwolves. Most recently told reporters at Team USA camp that he felt “unappreciated” by the Timberwolves organization.

Meanwhile in Sacramento, the Kings have put themselves in a great position to be attractive trading partners by having successful draft nights the past few years. They have an oversized load of young post players that show tons of potential. With the variety of different big men they’re able to offer, there’s no question they’ve got the best chance of landing Carmelo Anthony.

In New Jersey, it comes down to the vision and decision-making of new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. After Prokhorov struck out on reeling in a big name star in this year’s historic free agency, he may become impatient, and make an over-the-top offer for Anthony’s services. If he does that I can promise you he’ll be doing the Nuggets some favors (pun intended).

So let’s review each of the Nuggets’ preferred trading partners and evaluate the talent they’re willing to offer in return for Denver’s superstar. It’s important to consider that it’s not likely ANY of these trades go down without Carmelo accepting a rarely used (in mid-season) what’s called an extend-and-trade.

Each of the three teams listed will want assurance that they’re not trading young big man for a “rent-a-player”. In most trade circumstances, the NBA is not like Major League Baseball where you give away a top prospect in exchange for a star you’re unlikely to resign (cough…Brewers…cough). With that in mind, Anthony will basically have an artificial no trade clause. So in the end, can the Nuggets REALLY pull a trade off with one of the following teams? Let’s examine:

Minnesota Timberwolves: While Sacramento is clearly the favorite for Carmelo Anthony in terms of the Nuggets’ preferences, let’s not forget that for Wolves GM David Kahn it may not be tough throwing him into a deal. With the additions of Anthony Tolliver, Michael Beasley, and Darko Milicic this offseason, it’s likely Love won’t even be returning next season. The Timberwolves can offer a below average package for Anthony most likely sending Kevin Love, Corey Brewer, and probably a future first round pick that can be sweetened if Kahn makes it not lottery protected.

Favors could be the big man to bring New Jersey a big piece.

New Jersey Nets: As mentioned above, if Prokhorov does get desperate, the Nets may have a nice shot at landing Melo. Not only can they off a variety of young pieces, but New Jersey is a place that Carmelo may have interest in signing and staying long term. While the Russian man may gamble & goes all in with his young talented chips, the question that arises is if Denver is willing to gamble as well. The Nets have already come out and said they’re not willing to add Brook Lopez into any kind of deal for Anthony. So even if it sounds outrageous the Nuggets would have to acquire Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and maybe more. If a deal anywhere close to this nature, consider it a done deal, and it could be realistic “IF” (a big “if”) Carmelo agrees to do a extend and trade scenario.

Cousins is one guy who will not be included in any deal for Melo.

Sacramento Kings: Much like the Nets, the Kings also have a ton of potential pieces. But make no mistake, the Kings may be able to offer more variety of bigs, but there’s no way they’ll be willing to include DeMarcus Cousins in any trade talk. It’s clear newly acquired Samuel Dalembert will play a big role along with Jason Thompson, Donte Greene, Carl Landry, Omri Casspi and Hassan Whiteside being potential guys sent in the proposal. The Kings would love the idea of a Tyreke-Melo-Cousins trio heading towards the future. And the Nuggets may have enough interest in Dalembert’s huge expiring contract , along with Carl Landry’s. Also, don’t rule out Omri Casspi and Kings rookie Hassan Whiteside. Casspi can fill the starting small forward position and Whiteside is a young Marcus Camby in the making (Camby won 2007 Defensive Player of the Year with Denver).

This is obviously all speculation and nobody knows what may happen this upcoming season in the high country. But I’m willing to bet NOTHING HAPPENS until at least December 15th which other newly signed free agents become available for trade. That gives plenty of other teams possibilities to get involved and who knows, maybe even the Nuggets’ preferred three teams will get together to and work out a three team trade of some sort.

Until then, take this situation for what it’s worth, embrace the hype, the hoopla, and the rumors.

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Dirk Nowitzki: A Phoenix Sun? Don’t Count It Out

An Amare departure could very well help Nowitzki decide to join Nash in Phoenix

It was reported yesterday by a number of sources including ESPN.com and HoopHype.com that the Dallas Mavericks expect star forward Dirk Nowitzki to opt out of the last year of his contract. In all reality, it’s hard for anyone to believe that Dirk Nowitzki would actually decide to abandoned the only franchise he’s ever played for, but if he decides to opt out he’ll become an unrestricted free agent which definitely makes things a lot more interesting. Dirk Nowitzki may be Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s boy, but at the end of the day the thought of Dirk being a classified unrestricted free agent must raise some concerns in Dallas.

If Nowitzki were to be a restricted free agent, well heck, there’d be no point in writing this article but the decision is entirely out of Cuban’s control. Having Cuban’s back pocket out of control is something Cuban and the entire city of Dallas isn’t quite used too, especially if it involves the long-time face of the city’s franchise.

Finish with the one teammate that helped get it all started

So now the question arises, where in the world could Dirk Nowitzki possibly see a better fit and increase his chances of winning a title? I’ll give you a hint to the answer: it definitely has the word “best” included in it but don’t assume that the word “best” goes before the words “title chance”. Rather the answer very well could be BEST FRIEND, joining Steve Nash as a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Before you immediately rule it out, remember that timing is everything, and now’s the time. With Amare Stoudemire more than likely departing the Phoenix Suns (who have also reported that they too expect their star to opt out), bringing over Nowitzki to pair with Nash couldn’t fit any better. Take a look at this year’s market, there isn’t one realistic Stoudemire replacement that is even close to the stature of an Dirk Nowitzki (no way Bosh has interest in Phoenix). For many Suns fans it’ll definitely take some time adjusting too as Nowitzki definitely wouldn’t be referred to as a “Suns favorite”, but that’s only because he’s that good. There’s no bad past history in where Suns fans would refuse to except Nowitzki as one of their own, I mean it can’t get any worse than when the Phoenix Suns added the infamous “kiss of death” man himself, Mario Elie to their roster in the early 2000’s. Oh and on top of all that, consider the underlying NBA storyline as the Suns look forward to their season I can see it now: Two best friends, two past most valuable players, two franchise faces come together as one hoping to accomplish that one career achievement they’ve yet to experience: an NBA Championship.

No More Elimination Goodbye Hugs If They Decide to Become a Duo Again

Everywhere NBA journalists are just begging to cover this story. If Nowitzki were to sign with the Suns consider it the closest thing publicized to LeBron James’s big decision. And yes, I say that very well knowing Wade and Bosh are also going to end up somewhere, but this, much like LeBron’s decision, is beyond basketball.

Why battle for dominance when you can just do it together?

This is just an idea, but it’s definitely one that isn’t impossible from occurring. I think many would be very surprised to see it actually happen but Nowitzki isn’t just a guy that’s all about the glamour and the fortune. As his prime year’s soon come to an end, why not come continue to boost your numbers in the Suns system and do so performing screen and rolls with your best friend? Relationships go a long way in life and that makes it an interesting move to document. Which relationship is more important to Dirk Nowitzki: is it spending his entire NBA career as a Maverick under Mark Cuban or is it rejoining your best friend on the ultimate chase for a title?

That question will be left unanswered until July 1st at the very least, but it definitely one to keep a close eye out on. If Nowitzki did in fact decide to jump ships, not only does that up the antes of the Mavs-Suns rivalry but I wouldn’t rule out Cuban going out to sign Amare Stoudemire. It could very well end up being an unofficial swap in which two long-time franchise players switch to their rival opponents. Nowitzki would rejoin Nash and Stoudemire would rejoin the long lost soul of Marion.

No doubt the LeBron James auction will be the best free agent move to cover, but don’t rule out Dirk Nowitzki’s decision. Rest assured, the moment Amare Stoudemire departs, Steve Nash will be phoning his best buddy. Will Dirk Nowitzki answer Nash’s calling? We’ll just have to wait and find out….

The Piggy-Back Ride Could Be Over in Dallas

It’s Clear the Current Suns Team Loves Making Comical Videos, I Can See Dirk Fitting in Real Nicely:

The Valley of the Sun Could Use “The Big Nowitzki”