So the Nets, Pistons, and Denver virtually agreed on a 3 team blockbuster 2 or 3 weeks ago that would see 17 players and hundreds of millions in salary change hands, including the apple of our eye, New York native Carmelo Anthony, and have stood on this monumental precipice in limbo for almost a month? We’ve always thought this nonsense, pathetically and desperately spun by lazy, stupid reporters who have made mountains out of the wishful daydreams of Denver novice GM Masai Ujiri, Joe Dumars, and Net GM “he aint won a thing” Billy King.
We can’t even blame Dumars or Ujiri that hard. If you’re Dumars, who has rings as a player and team builder, and 2 teams come to you presenting you the chance to shed a 33 year old Rip Hamilton with 2 years and $25M remaining on his contract, you’d have to jump all over that. You’d want it to go down so badly you might even hold Hamilton out of the lineup for over a week to facilitate the fantasy. Butlet’s be real. This would not be a basketball trade for the Pistons. It’s a money trade. Hamilton could run a marathon, contract malaria, become pregnant, and get hit in the eye by a bow and arrow and he’s still going to Newark in this twisted vision.
Ujiri? Not gonna kill the poor guy. In his first task of substance as a big league GM, he is left to sort through this mess. It’s like getting called up from double A to face Babe Ruth with the bases loaded. He must do his diligence and try to make the deal that’s best for his club, which is Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and the Nets lottery pick in 2011, plus 2 other 1st rounders. At the end of the day though, it was a whole lot of leg work for naught.
Chris Sheridan, like us, has maintained all along that Anthony will be traded to the Knicks. Some of his most pointed remarks on the topic came yesterday when Sheridan told ESPN radio that Anthony unequivocally refuses to sign an extension with any team other than New York. Bottom line, Anthony holds all the leverage, and the Nets, and no one, for that matter, will trade 5 out of 6 of their top assets for a rental player. The Nuggets and Pistons can arrange whatever deals they like, but Ujiri has no way of convincing ‘Melo to accept the trade, and Dumars can do no more than sit on his hands and pray for the impossible in Detroit.
Carmelo is the trade. If he is not held out of games for fear of injury, then no deals are imminent. Anthony is playing tonight against OKC. He has done better than pronouncing his intention to participate in all games for the foreseeable future. He told Ujiri not to grant permission to Nets ownership to speak to him about the trade and the extension. Against his wishes, they granted the Nets permission to speak to Anthony today. Supposedly, Prokhorov and Jay Zee flew to Denver today to make their pitch. Then ESPN runs the newsflash that the Nets have stopped pursuing Anthony and that the deal is forever dead.
So what happened when Prokhorov and Mr. Hip Hop finally got their chance to meet with Carmelo? Here’s what happened: Anthony sent them home unceremoniously with an emphatic no. Now ESPN reports that Anthony is not even a definite free agent this summer, that he has 1 year to go on his deal at $18M and will opt out of the deal if he is traded to a team (not New York) dumb enough to trade for him sans the extension. By the way, how many guys is Jay Zee going to try to woo here and strike out with in his little amatuer NBA owner hour? Embarrassing.
Look for the Nuggets, absolutely desperate to unload the disgruntled star and come away with something, to take back from New York Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Minnesota’s pick (acquired for Anthony Randolph), and a first rounder the Knicks will purchase for cash money from a team like the Spurs or Blazers. And as for Amar’e’s proclamation that he hasn’t spoken to Carmelo at all through this process? He’s telling the truth. They don’t talk. They just text each other constantly.
GO NEW YORK GO NEW YORK GO!!!!!!!!