The fascinating dynamics of trading Carmelo Anthony

The whole NBA has been watching the Carmelo saga with varying degrees of interest.   The Bulls aren’t involved as they don’t have the pieces Denver wants, and Carmelo doesn’t seem particularly interested in heading to the windy city either despite the dead on accurate sources of

Still, the situation has interesting implications on the Eastern conference as Melo appears to be heading out East no matter what.  In fact, it appears that there are three possible scenarios left that can take place.

Carmelo and Chauncey head to the Nets for Favors and four first round draft picks with Murphy being absorbed by a third team

The big winner: Denver

Denver enters this situation as the team most likely to be screwed.  Afterall, they’re losing a franchise player, but this trade will land them a good draft pick this year, and I’m not convinced that the Nets even with Melo are a playoff team next season.   They could easily get multiple good picks from this deal plus a legit great prospect in Favors even if he hasn’t set the world on fire so far.

It might not all add up to Carmelo Anthony in terms of value, but given the hand they have it’s a massive win for them.

Kissing their sister:  New Jersey

The Nets get their man, and it does give them a star player to build around, but they’ll have spent so much to get him that they won’t have a lot to build around in the future.   Look for Melo to ultimately be unhappy an for New Jersey to improve from bottom feeder to mediocrity with this move.

Kissing their sister part 2: New York

Giving that Melo clearly wants to go here, and they could pay him in the summer if he makes it to free agency, the Knicks would appear to be a big loser here.  However, Paul, Williams, and Howard await in free agency in 2012.  The Knicks will likely lure one of those stars to the big apple if they don’t get Melo now, and I like all three more than Melo.

It does set the Knicks back a year and given Amare’s health, a year could be big, but they could ultimately have a better team for avoiding Melo rather than getting him.

Loser: Carmelo Anthony

The Nets will be even worse than Denver, and the East will be a tougher conference than the West over the next five years.  His odds of having any success in the playoffs seem to be almost none to me after this trade.

He will get his money, but he would have been better off just staying with the Nuggets and taking the money.  He’ll eventually end up in Brooklyn and maybe that has some value to him, but my guess is if he accepts this trade he’ll ultimately regret it.

The Knicks and Nuggets work out a deal centered around Felton, Galinari, Chandler, and Curry for Melo

The Big Winner:  No one really.

The Winner:  Carmelo Anthony gets what he thinks he wants.  He’ll have the money and the big city, but he won’t have a great chance to win.  It will be better than with New Jersey, but the Knicks will have few assets to improve afterwards.   Dreams of Paul ending up in New York a year later are simply dreams.  The Knicks will have no assets left to trade and no cap room to sign him.

Kissing their sister:  All three teams

The Knicks will have added their second star, but they’ll have no cast or assets.  The Knicks might be able add a star simply by being patient, but the threat of a franchise tag has to leave them nervous as it could stop Williams, Paul, and Howard from hitting free agency a year later.

The Nets will take a big PR hit for not being able to pull this deal off, and they’re already looking pretty desperate after seeing what they’re willing to give up to get Anthony.   That said, they’re probably not any worse off missing out on Anthony at the price tag he’s running.

The Nuggets at least get something for Anthony, but they won’t save as much money as with the Nets deal, and the prospects they get from New York will all need extensions soon making them not tremendously value as they’ll have to be market value players soon rather than cheap rookie contracts.   Also, none of them really have tremendous upside.

Melo heads to free agency and signs with New York in the off season

The big winner: New York

The Knicks get Anthony and get to keep all their assets.   In this scenario, the Knicks actually improve considerably and can possibly make a run with the best teams in the East.  

Also, Anthony costs them far less on the cap and it gives them more hope to be able to make something happen with Chris Paul or Deron Williams a year later, though a reduced cap still makes that a long shot.

Kissing their sister: Carmelo Anthony

He gets the team, the chance to win, and the location,  but he might lose 30 million dollars.    If he’s been somewhat smart with his money, the improvement in location and winning might actually be worth the money to him, but it’s still potentially a massive chunk of change to be left on the table.

Kissing their sister part 2: New Jersey

The Nets, like mentioned above, are probably no worse off for losing out on Anthony because of the huge price they’d need to pay to get him though they do lose some face.

The big loser: Denver

Denver ends up with nothing to show for Carmelo and lose him for nothing.  Obviously it’s a big blow to the franchise to not get anything back for him.

Final thoughts

What actually happens from here will be interesting to see.  It’s hard to see Anthony ending up in New Jersey, because he has some say over whether he signs the extension and ultimately I think that’s the worst situation for him.  In fact, the only way this makes sense to me is if Denver refuses to sign him to an extension due to the drama at this point and New Jersey is the only team left where he can get the money

There’s always a chance that this goes to free agency because someone’s
ego is too big.  However given that Denver gets nothing and Melo loses a
ton of money, this also doesn’t seem too likely to me.

The trade scenario with New York seems like the most likely to me still.   I don’t think Anthony wants to sacrifice the money to head to New York in free agency, and ultimately, I think New York feels enough pressure to get something done now rather than patience to wait.   The potential of a franchise tag has to weigh heavily as it would completely screw over any backup plan they have.


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  • Interesting analysis...Also from, there is a thought and they emphasize that don't discount the Bulls for Melo.
    I just don't understand what Melo is doing with Nets...I guess he just wants to be rich and I am not sure of his childhood but if he grew in a tough environment, I wouldn't fault him for that.
    About Knicks, they will go as far as Amare's knees hold up after the 2012...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't think Melo is doing anything with the Nets. I think the Nets and Nuggets want the deal to go down, but Melo blocks it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think that you are vastly understating the fact that Melo has to walk away from nearly $84 million, not "just" $65 million.

    In order to become a free agent this summer he has to not sign the extension and opt out of the final year of his existing contract on which he is owed more than $18 million next year.

    I absolutely guarantee that Melo will take the money over all other considerations.

    Thus Denver could simply not trade him and deal with an unhappy filthy rich baby, or Denver and NJ can make the deal without Melo's consent, and NJ can deal with an unhappy filthy rich baby.

    Melo is desperately trying to find a way to get what he wants which is all the money and the Knicks. Unless the Knicks give up what Denver wants and more than the Nets, he will end up with whoever owns his rights on the day that the ability to sign the extension expires.

    Melo is not leaving a single penny on the table.

    Denver has a lot more leverage than anyone seems to acknowledge.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He's not losing 84 million though, he's going to sign a new max contract next summer. He will likely lose legitimately 30 million.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    and you think he would choose this option?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Obviously, I did not say he was losing $84 million, but he is opting out of $84 million guaranteed for total uncertainty.

    If you guys don't believe my theory, check out this link from NY.

  • Doug,
    If a trade isn

  • In reply to Edward:

    You can't trade expiring players after the season is over, so while a trade is technically possible, Eddy Curry could no longer be in it to match salary. Since that's the case, there's likely no way to legally make the trade they're trying to make now.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What about a trade exception from NY to Denver? Isn't that how Miami "matched salaries" with Toronto and Cleveland in the Bosh and Lebron S&Ts?

  • In reply to Edward:

    I guess the question is, does NY have the cap space to return a trade exception to Denver? Perhaps the "cap hold" for Eddy Curry prevents NY from doing so.

  • In reply to Edward:

    That would have to occur after the season rolls over, in which case, the extension would take place under the new CBA, and Melo would lose his extra money if the new CBA kills him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I see, so only after July 1 would Eddy Curry's contact come off the books. But with Curry's contract/cap hold on the books before July 1, NY does not have the cap room to return a trade exception?

    So the Bosh and LeBron S&Ts took place after the season rolled over, after July 1. But that was inconsequential because the CBA didn't change.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Correct. Miami was way under the cap, and it was a new season when those trades were made.

    If there was no new CBA, Melo would almost certainly just wait adn sign with NY outright.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I heard that in the spirit of the Chris Paul/Carmelo Knicks toast, Mr. Happy/Mr. Happys Boyfriend toasted to Nick Young coming to the Bulls.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I think the Nets make out well in the Melo to the Nets deal. Sure it doesn't make them a great team but they clearly want a big name player purely for publicity for their relocation move, and Melo does exactly what they want. It would be especially huge for them because they would have stolen him from they cross town rivals the Knicks. Being a championship contender seems to be something they're happy to work on down the line.

    As far as Melo to the Knicks, the Knicks only win that deal if getting Melo brings one of Paul/Williams/Howard. If he comes in the off season they do alright, they'd do better if they traded Chandler for something now rather than being forced to renounce him to have room to sign Melo, but I doubt they can do such a transparent move without pissing Melo off.

    I still think the big dark horses that you don't mention are Denver not reaching a deal by the deadline and Melo deciding he wants the money more than anything else and signing the extension, or Melo holding out until the off season and the franchise tag coming in. In both cases Denver comes out the big winner since they'll have Melo under contract and can make a deal like the Nets one down the track if they want. If Melo isn't traded by the deadline I think either of these scenarios or a sign and trade to New York are the scenarios, too much would have to stay the same in the CBA for Melo to just waltz into New York for it to be particularly likely. I really don't see Denver as having a great deal of risk in holding out for as much as they can get from the Knicks at the deadline and walking away if they don't get it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I really don't think we will see a triple teamup again like LeBron, Dwyane, and Chris. A lot of things had to go incredibly right for that to happen - and I believe that it almost didn't happen. That was just a special time with a 'special' group of guys. It is incredibly hard to envision a Amare/Melo/Howard teamup in the east. If anything, I see Howard to the Lakers in a few years. Dwight Howard will never be the 'Chris Bosh' of a team. Also, there is no guarantee that you will ever be able to do what Miami did in the offseason. I'll go out on a limb by saying the majority of owners didn't enjoy the Miami teamup and will try and lower the cap and change the MLE up a little bit. If you think about it, only two or three of these 'teamups' in free agency have happened in the last decade of any note, once in Orlando (McGrady, Hill); Boston (Allen, Garnett); and Miami (LBJ, CB, and DW). I doubt we will see another for another ten years.

  • Yes, I doubt Denver trades Afflalo, why would they? He's a good player with an upside. Same with the Knicks and Landry Fields. Which is also why Bulls won

  • Melo going to either N.Y. or N.J. means his first priority is not about winning, he could've stayed in Denver and did that or decided to go elsewhere. Good luck to him and the decision that he will make for his family and himself. And he will be a Knick one way or another.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Money is almost always the first priority, though Wade, Bosh, and LeBron all gave up money in order to have a better shot at winning. We crucify them for it too which is kind of funny.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    But Wade, Bosh and LeBron only gave up about 1-1.5 million per year, which was easily offset by Florida's lack of state income tax. Melo would potentially take a MASSIVE cut if he resigned under the new CBA.

  • In reply to Edward:

    LeBron in NY would have probably made 10x the money marketing as he does in Miami as well. LeBron/Wade would make way more in marketing on different teams than on the same team.

    They definitely came no where near maximizing money by signing in MIami, but they maximized happiness, gave themselves a great chance to win and nice weather.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    and party on South Beach

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You can't compare Melo with the Miami trio. They lost a few millions and are making that up with the state tax and as an attraction band. Would Bosh alone going to NY or Clippers make endorsement money comparable to what he is going to do in Miami...Definitely no..
    Melo is going to lose a whole lot more than these three would. It is the balance of winning a championship and losing a few million out of 100+ or losing 30/40 million and not sure of a championship.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Question of the day, who will Mr. Happy obsess about as the guy who can put the Bulls over the top, that absolutely wants to sign here and is a lock to come here after Carmelo goes to New York?

    First it was Wade.
    Then Carmelo.

    Who's going to be the lock to come here next?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, I think you may have already given that player to Mr. Happy - its Dwight Howard, haha.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Interesting question.

    I first thought maybe Howard, but he seems to fixate on perimeter players, so maybe he'll go back to his trusty standbys of Nick or Sam Young. Or, maybe he'll nominate an up and coming star like Westbrook or Durant.

    Whoever it is, Happy will make sure we know the Bulls won't win jack until they get him :)

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Hard to argue that Sam Young or Nick Young is the missing piece, maybe either guy could help, but neither is a star player.

    Does he go Deron Williams? Chris Paul? Dwight Howard? Those are the big heavy hitters who will be trying to force trades next season.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hard to argue, yes. But I wouldn't put it past him. He loves to promote the absurd.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    One guy I would keep an eye on in FA who is kinda underrated is Reggie Williams from Golden State. He's shooting 42% from beyond the arc this year. I think he's gonna be restricted but he's worth a shot IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:


    Do I know or do I know it?

    ETWAUN MOORE, a guy I brought up a 1 and half ago on here, just hung 38pts. on OSU.

    Thank you.

  • In reply to DougThonus:


    The Chicagoland kid, E'Twaun Moore, did it all out there.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You know Mr, H you really are good at evaluating NBA talent.
    Your skills are being wasted working at Foot Locker.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    He will use some stats like when Nick Young plays playoff teams, he scores 20+ points because
    1. Washington would be probably being beaten up 20+ by the 4th there will be scrubs/bench from the winning team playing
    2. He is a black-hole playing with John Wall who will dish out to him a lot and he will keep shooting. He might have a good percentage of FGs.

    Or it might be Tyreke Evans because he is unhappy playing with Cousins and he is from Memphis.
    It is amazing how he builds rationale in a vacuum.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There was an article on a Jazz blog not long ago that put up a very persuasive argument to Jazz fans, that they should move Williams to the 2 spot.
    I wonder if the dynamics of a team that had Rose and DWill on it could work. My guess would be no, but it might be interesting to see.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    i heard this about tyreke evans as well, and i've thought about it for rose, too. the thinking goes, point guards are easier to find these days, so if you have a point that can move to 2, then get another point if he is better than what you can get at the 2. i think as long as one of them is big enough to defend big 2's, it can work great. i think a rose/williams backcourt would be awesome, they both defend well, move the ball and can shoot. i just don't think that initially, either of them would think it's a great idea, as they both have being the point as part of their identity. as such, i don't think this will happen because dwill would have to force a trade to the bulls to make it so. but as a thought experiment, it's great.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Probably Jerome James.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Isn't it obvious, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams only went to the All-Star game so that they could conspire to end up in Chicago in 2012, if they can't force their way to the Bulls via trade during 2011. Deng, Taj, JJ and a couple of draft picks ought to do it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    So funny in it's accuracy that it scares me a little bit ;-)

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Those guys knew exactly what they were giving up, less than 10% of their total contracts, most of which is made up by no Florida income tax.

    Melo has no idea what he is giving up, other than $84 million over the next four years.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    That's been my take on it since the beginning. It's fine if money and location is his priority. After all, it's his life. But those that thought winning was top of the list had a serious case of wishful thinking.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Exactly! Which is why Melo is not the piece to put Bulls over the top.

    With his extension, Melo's salary over the next 4 seasons is $18mil 20mil, 22mil, 24mil. That's INSANE for Melo. And since a new CBA is coming that will lower salaries, its DOUBLE INSANE. Reinsdorf would never give Melo a contract like that, haha.

  • In reply to Edward:

    That has been my argument against Melo landing on the Bulls from day 1

  • In reply to zentastic:

    The idea that anyone sacrifices lots of money to win is wishful thinking.

    If so, you'd see tons of star players signing for peanuts to be on better teams and winning. Doesn't happen.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I call it Mappy thinking, or is that an oxymoron.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Winning is at best third on his agenda,

    money is number one,

    money is number 2,

    playing in NY is next and then maybe winning crosses his mind.

    Basically after he eats all the cake that he can he will think about winning.

  • Yes, it is tempting to think how good Bulls could be will a very good SG. But they can't disrupt their frontline depth to do so - that would be the wrong move. So we'll just have to wait and see what the off-season brings...

  • FYI:

    The Bulls are engaged with Melo and the Nuggets on trade talks.

    Melo said that himself during his All-Star game press conference.

    * This issue right now is Paxson and Forman deciding to part w/ Deng and Gibson.


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    [in his best Inigo Montoya voice]

    You keep using that word (facts). I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The one single absolute fact that everyone on this blog knows is that Mappy is an arrogant, ignorant, blowhard doucebag.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    what Is the link of your information ?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Depending on exactly what NJ would end up giving up, I think his chances to win there would be higher than you're predicting Doug.

    If they kept Harris, Morrow, and Lopez ... and added Melo, that's not a bad cast to start with.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Those guys presently have them as one of the top 3-4 teams in the NBA. You add Melo to that team and they aren't anywhere in the vicinity of winning a title.

    They also have no picks, no cap room, and no young players about to step up and contribute. I think it's a 7/8 seed type team, and one that wouldn't shock me if it missed the playoffs.

    I can't see them ever getting out of the 1st round. His talent in Denver is higher.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Your first sentence has me a bit confused ...
    Who's a top 3-4 team?

    It's probably clear, but I'm not thinking straight.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    not clear to me either.


    - Melo doesn't want to go to the NJN.
    - Denver's brass doesn't want what NYK is selling.
    - Melo's top choice is Chicago, because he wants to win.
    - Paxson and Forman love Deng and Gibson and are reluctant to part w/ them.
    - Denver is worried about Deng's contract, so a 3rd team like Sacramento makes sense.

    We'll see what happens.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    this guy.........

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Do you have any proof that Chicago is Melo's top choice, or are you just being a blabbering idiot again?

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    Of course he has no proof ... he never does.
    Which, coincidentally is why none of the things he ever says actually happen.

    Everyone knows that as much as we like Deng, we'd trade him for Melo easily.
    Throwing in Taj makes it tough to like the deal, but we'd probably do it.
    If anyone here thinks that all Denver wants is Deng and Taj for Melo, they're as ignorant as McHappy.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    "despite the dead on accurate sources of"

    I think Doug already addressed this nonsense. Haha

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    Gee, what are the chances that it is the latter.

  • Honestly, I think the reason Denver is hesitating for the trade with NY is D'Antoni. In his system, offensive stats look much better than they do with other coaches/systems. Maybe they are concerned how Fields, Gallo will look in a new system or when there is more focus on them like they would have in Denver without a superstar like Amare.
    I think Bulls might pull the trigger but I am not sure if it saves Denver money with Deng's contract in terms of luxury tax.
    Denver wants a starter, rotation player and picks...that's the Deng, Gibson and picks should do. And for all the talk Deng is young and is coming into his prime. But will Denver take his contract? A three team deal will not work because then the talent gets diluted if Deng is not there.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't think anyone should value Galinari, Fields, or Chandler that much, but I think the D'Antoni affect is somewhat overrated. When you look at pace, the Knicks aren't playing as fast and loose like people think.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I don't think it's the pace so much as the lineups he often goes with. If you're running a pick and roll with Amare and Felton and the other three guys on the court are even mediocre shooters when someone has to come and help on Amare then there's always going to be either an open shot or a driving lane.

    Of course playing Amare at center and a small forward at the 4 sacrifices a ton of defense and rebounding but it does pad the offensive stats of everyone.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    They're hesitating on the trade with New York because they're hoping either Melo changes his mind about New Jersey or that New York panics and throws in the kitchen sink,

  • I think the one thing with Afflalo is that the Nuggets like him now while he's cheap, do they like him equally well when he costs market value this summer?

    It might cost them 5/35 to keep him, do they still like him at that price?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    But Bulls cannot give a RFA offer sheet to Afflalo, no cap space. And a S&T is not possible either as players who are resigned cannot be traded until December 15th, correct?

    So any potential Bulls acquisition of Afflalo must take place by Feb 24, correct? Unlikely, IMO.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If the MLE still exists, the Bulls can make an offer sheet with the MLE which, this past season, was 5/35 roughly.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The MLE seems to be one of the owners primary targets, either directly or thru a hard cap.

  • I agree with you 100% on the team standing pat for now. Let's see how they do in the playoffs first, then they can better assess their needs, as well as be in a better position to make a substantial move.

  • Why not just pry Fields from the Knicks.

  • The funny thing is New York allegedly has the option of taking Monta Ellis back in the David Lee deal but instead thought Randolph was a better prospect due to his contract. If they had Ellis playing like he is now then doing a Melo deal would have been much easier for them.

  • If he can continue to play something like the level he has this year then absolutely. I can't really see the needs of the Bulls team changing in the future, Rose is such a ball dominant guard he's always going to need a low usage/high efficiency player next to him in the back court.

  • Last I heard Denver like Fields but the Knicks want to give him up the least since obviously they'd like to keep someone who can play shooting guard.

  • I haven't see enough of Aflalo in person, but I would say that any legitimate starting 2 guard, especially one who plays both ways is worth the MLE.

  • Exactly, lets hope that NJ can put enough fear in the NY brass to force them to gut the entire team to get Melo.

    Although, with all the guys that Denver wants to send out, the Knicks or the Nets would have a decent roster at least for the remainder of this season.

    Billups and Fields in the backcourt, Melo and Amare in the front court, Turiaf(or Earl Barron) in the middle.

    Is that lineup any worse than the Bulls starting five with Bogans. The Knicks win 3 positions(2,3,4), the Bulls 2, Rose and Noah.

    I still hope that he ends up in NJ, but if he does end up in NY with his extension, it almost certainly takes NY out of the 2012 sweepstakes for Paul, Howard and Williams. Although they could pull a Miami and gut everybody besides Melo and Amare and then be able to sign one of those guys, my guess would be Paul or Williams.

    If that comes to pass then, the Bulls have to deal with 2 monster big 3's in the east for the first half of Rose's prime.

  • I wouldn't cry in my milk if I woke up Thursday and Ellis was our starting shooting guard.

    All you Ben Gordon lovers should love Ellis, except of course for the fact that he actually tries to play D every now and again.

  • Don't you know that if you hang 38 on any Division one team(because that has never been done by guys no one has ever heard of), you automatically qualify for the NBA All-Star game, as well as instant induction into the Hall of Fame.

  • He is taller than Eric Gordon. His issues will be the strength and explosiveness needed to make up for being only 6'4. If his jumpshot continues to develop he will get an opportunity to make someones team.

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