It’s everybody’s favorite new game — come up with a trade for Carmelo Anthony.
‘Melo wants out of Denver and from radio talk shows in Chicago to Timberwolves message boards everybody has an offer to bring Anthony to their city. Chicago fans have a plan. So do Nets fans, Lakers fans, Magic fans and so an and so on.
And some of those plans are better than what New York is offering (reportedly something like Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry and his contract, plus a future first round pick). Why wouldn’t Denver jump at those other offers?
Because Anthony controls the game, he has the leverage. And Denver isn’t jumping anywhere quickly anyway.
Let’s get to the second part of that first. Right now Denver has no general manager, they are in the process of hiring one (probably David Griffin from Phoenix). There is someone filling the role for Denver right now, but that person is not going to make some big trade.
When the new GM is hired, he is going to want to sit down face-to-face with Anthony and try to use the Jedi mind trick that Dell Demps used on Chris Paul in New Orleans. (“You do not want to get traded.” “I do not want to get traded.” “You want us to build around you here.” “I want you to build around me here.”)
If and when that fails, Anthony gets to call the shots.
No team is going to give up the massive assets Denver will demand in a trade just for a one-year rental. Teams will want to do an extend-and-trade similar to what was done with Kevin Garnett, that way teams know they have him for at least three years. Anthony wants that, too, because he wants the max money under this Collective Bargaining Agreement.
But because Anthony has to sign any extension, and no team will take him without it, he has leverage. Denver may like an offer from Chicago or Orlando better, but if Anthony refuses to sign the extension the other teams will not make the trade.
Anthony may prefer New York, but Frank Isola of the New York Daily News says there are other options.
Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn, has told close associates that New York is his preferred destination, although the Knicks will face stiff competition from the Bulls, Magic and Jay-Z’s Nets.
Over at Sports Illustrated, the Houston Rockets and Nets are listed as the two teams besides the Knicks he likes.
The Nets, of course, will play in Brooklyn in two years. That has to be a draw.
But if the team is not a draw to Anthony himself, it’s all moot. He has leverage.