The Nets were reported weeks ago as impatient with the Nuggets' high demand of five first round draft picks included in return for Carmelo Anthony, but the Pistons including Rip Hamilton to Jersey as a third party has sweetened the deal, Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday at Yahoo! Sports.
The deal would've been finalized Sunday evening, but Denver got "hesitant" and decided to try getting rid of other pieces at the 11th hour:
The three-way deal reportedly will include 13 players and is close enough to happen this week with or without 'Melo signing a contract extension, though he's expected to extend his contract when the deal is finalized. Anthony's contract expires after this season with a. $18.5 million player option for the 2011-12 season.
The deal is reported as:
- Nets receiving: 'Melo, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, and Shelden Williams from Denver with Rip from the Pistons.
- Nuggets receiving: Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Graham, Ben Uzoh, Quinton Ross, and two first round draft picks from Jersey.
- Pistons receiving: Troy Murphy and Johan Petro from Jersey.
Holdup to NJ-Den-Det trade is that Den wants NJ to take Al Harrington. NJ doesn't want to b/c Al has 4 yrs, $28 mill left on deal.
Den swinging for fences: sources say in addition to Harrington, they're pushing NJ to take Renaldo Balkman & maybe give up 1st rounder too
Jersey has five first rounders over the next two drafts. Detroit isn't enthusiastic about receiving Petro and want one of those picks.
'Melo's reported preference remains as the Knicks, but Wojnarowski adds
'Melo "wants to play with Rip," according to an unnamed "front office
executive." This with the prospect of the Nets being very aggressive to acquire Chris Paul within the next six months could be how the Nets front office sells 'Melo on signing a contract extension before their move to Brooklyn.
Rip has two years and $25 million remaining on his contract and has reportedly not just demanded a trade, but it completely fed up with the Pistons organization. Murphy for Rip straight-up is reportedly as good as done, but Detroit wants a draft pick and Jersey needs to unload Petro's $6.75 million contract to complete the agreed deal with Denver and acquire the $30 million combined salaries of 'Melo and Chauncey.
Chauncey doesn't want to leave his hometown Denver, but is owed over $14 million next season with a team option to buy out his contract for under $4 million. Jersey is reportedly agreeing to pay him the full amount to keep him happy.
But Chancey's agent says his client will demand the buyout if he's traded by the Nuggets. Yet another big gamble by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov that an agent is playing hard to get, but not a bad one. No team in the league will likely pay much more than the league average for Chauncey on the open market and going back home puts him on the bench behind Harris.
'Melo's sister passed away during the holidays and trade talks were on hold. Since returning, the Nuggets have fallen fast. They've lost three straight, including back-to-back losses in L.A. to the Clippers by 13 on Wednesday and being embarrassed on national TV Thursday by the Kings in Sacramento by 20. After the Kings game, 'Melo sat on the bench dejected as the last player to leave the floor having an introspective time to himself.
Sunday's home loss to the Hornets was amidst massive booing toward 'Melo, who only scored eight in the game.
There's no question the Nuggets have no hope of winning with 'Melo as it's finally showing he has one step out the door. His wife is centered in his hometown New York and after the unimaginable loss of his sister, who would blame him for wanting to get as close to home as soon as possible before being able to move forward with his career once again.
I'm no psychologist, but we've all dealt with grief. A loved one dying young brings about an extremely unique separation anxiety and it's about that point where nothing good comes of even attempting to sell 'Melo on staying in Denver for even one more year, let alone signing a three-year extension.
Of course, the Nuggets still own the paper that employs him in the league and have to maximize their returns. Bargaining power was leaving their hands very fast and the only way to receive equitable assets in return will be part with more to get more.
That said, I really like this deal for all three parties. It doesn't put any team closer to significant playoff equity, but the Pistons get a starting power forward for a guy who's quit on them; the Nuggets get a rookie power forward with star potential to replace Kenyon Martin, upgrade their point guard position, add a little shooting, and two first rounders carry high potential and lower margin of error; and the Nets get a go-to guy and experienced two-end athletes.
The Nets getting older is an issue and a valid one, but that's dependent on the 2011 offseason. More important is that the Nets become a playoff contender in a conference where 35 wins may sneak a team into an #8 seed. Still, they'd need to go 25-20 over the last 45 games, but five over .500 over that span wouldn't be completely nutty.
It won't take much in the offseason to make them a staple in the top seven in the conference. When you figure that nothing in the foreseeable future put the Nets in a spot to contend with the Magic, Bulls, and Knicks in 2012, just taking one step forward is probably the best they can do.
I'm humored that 'Melo, Rip, and Chauncey is what Detroit should've been -- had Joe Dumars not selected Darko Milicic with the second pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, leaving 'Melo available for Denver with the third pick. Of course, this is nearly eight years later. Chauncey is up and down, Rip can dig deep and grab something, but the two have a clock ticking loudly. The Nets are mortgaging their future 'only outbidding themselves' to meet Denver's demands. But 'Melo puts asses in the seats and such a move really is probably the best they can do and chase free agents later.
Filed under: NBA Rumors
Tags: adrian wojnarowski, al harrington, anthony carter, anthony morrow, ben uzoh, chauncey billups, chris broussard, collective bargaining agreement, denver nuggets, derrick favors, detroit pistons, devin harris, john petro, mikhail prokhorov, nba, new jersey nets, new york knicks, quinton ross, renaldo balkman, rip hamilton, shelden williams, stehen graham, troy murphy