It's the back end of August and real basketball is still two months away. So what else is there to do besides everybody's 4th favorite verb: Speculate!?
Quick background before we get into it -- Melo is a free agent after this season and if he doesn't sign a new deal this summer, he's expected to walk. So the word is that the Nuggets are scoping out the market for him before the season. ESPN recently ran something like an article that polled their experts as to where Carmelo Anthony will land by trade before the season or free agency next summer. While the Knicks, Nuggets, Nets, Bulls got votes, the Sixers did not.
Find out why this is unsurprising but a little possible after the J.
A month ago, an unnamed Nuggets official (let's call him Salazar) said these words I am about to type in light blue highlighter:
There is no way we are trading Carmelo Anthony. We're 100 percent certain of that.
As anybody who is familiar with coming-of-age novels or Andy Reid quotes will tell you, things can change and promises don't exactly stay that way. And if Salazar isn't sure Melo will remain with the team post-2011, he is certainly testing the waters with his toesies to find out what he can get. If you ask our best friend in the universe Sethany Rosenthal from Posting & Toasting, he'd invariably mention the words "hogwash" and "mimble-wimble" in regards to Carmelo wearing the orange and blue.
As time passes, the Nuggets will be more and more compelled to deal Anthony in order to get anything in return. I say wait, but I'm also deeply in love with the roster Donnie Walsh has assembled... I really hoped "The Decision" would mark the end of this nonsense, but just to reiterate: doubt every source, know that every outlet has an agenda (mine is to molest all of you), and remember that it behooves the national media to drive you crazy. Don't let them.
Molestation aside, there's clearly weariness for Rosenthal of even discussing anything Anthony despite what new Mrs. Lala Anthony said (here is a pic of her). But since I'm not afraid of my own shadow (Seth is), I'll take a stab at Melo to the Sixers for a few reasons.
1. There is no GM in Denver after Mark Warkentien was fired.
3. Until Denver, Carmelo was all East Coast (Born in D.C, schooled in Syracuse)
4. It's the offseason and there's not much else to write about.
Obviously if new Sixers President Rod Thorn and Kroenke were to make music together, Andre Iguodala would be in there somewhere because of the length and fairness of his contract. With expirings and a few young assets, let's check to see what NBA Trade Machine has to offer.
Salaries: ESPN's getting glitchy so I can't link it but the salaries match up within about a hundred bucks for the coming season. This deal would be dependent on some guarantee from Carmelo that implies he'd be interested in signing an extension. Thad, Willie, and Afflalo are each expiring after the season.
Why for us: While I am certainly not ready to write off an Evan Turner/Iguodala wing tandem as being unfit, it seems to me that Turner/Anthony would work better based on skill set. In Afflalo, we get a great shooter (eFG% of 55.7 in his third season) in the last year of his contract that all the tools to be a great defender but has yet to put it together. It's an open audition between him and Jodie Meeks to see who gets an extension. I believe one of them could turn into a very serviceable 6th man in a year or two. Back to Melo, he's still just 26, and put up a promising dMULT of 0.992 last season with 0.145 win shares per 48 minutes. The only problem with this is that we still don't have a big man to hang our hats on for the future unless Marreese Speights or Spencer Hawes figures it out.
Why for them: If we take what Salazar said seriously, there is no why for them. But since I caught Salazar cheating on his wife last week (to be fair, it was with me), I'd go with the grain of salt philosophy here. Andre is a cost-efficient and game-efficient option for the next 4 years. Dealing Carmelo would allow them to commit money to JR Smith to see if he can be one of the core guys along with Ty Lawson and Nene Hilario (still just 27) to contend in a new era of Nuggetball. With Thad, they have the same deal as we do with Afflalo -- give him a year to see what he's got, and maybe he's worth some years on George Karl's team. I bet Willie gets the same treatment in Denver he does here: nude pictures, blackmail, and playing time.
There's something to be said about the conspicuous absence of a big man in this accord I've fashioned up, and if you've got some free time to play with a third team to net us a quality, young big man in the deal, be my guest and post it in the comments (or your own fanpost -- reach for the sky). The chances of us making some noise this year with this assumed roster are still relatively slim, but get me a big man in the draft or through osmosis and we'll talk contending, especially if Jrue Holiday continues to get better.
I'd give 'Melo a cool 0.5% chance at coming here. Start sending letters, otherwise I'll have to court other free agents using just my body and orange marmalade. Happy Monday, coasters.
UPDATE: This may throw a wrench into things.