Few things in the sporting world have been as annoying and frustrating as the Carmelo Anthony trade demand and subsequent trade rumors. For months we’ve known that despite what Anthony may say publicly, he wants no part of being in Denver or, for that matter, New Jersey/Brooklyn. There is little question that option A, B, and C for Carmelo Anthony has and will likely continue to be the New York Knicks.
With that being said, what in God’s creation could be the holdup? The Nuggets are in a tough situation with their superstar demanding a trade before his contract has expired. They’ve essentially lost the final year of Anthony’s contract despite having all legal rights to his services through this season. Sure, it’s horrible for the Nuggets and their fans, but at this point they have to have come to grips with it. There is little question that the Nuggets have long since moved into “get what we can” mode.
The Nuggets know they have lost their star, the whole world knowns Anthony only wants to be a Knick, and the whole world knows that the Knicks desperately want Anthony. So what in the world is holding this up!?
One of the best in the business, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is now reporting what I and others have been hearing whispers of for months. That the man who single-handedly destroyed, embarrassed, and nearly bankrupted the Knicks, Isiah Thomas, is once again calling the shots in New York.
Respected basketball executive Donnie Walsh has done a tremendous job in rebuilding the Knicks after Thomas’ continual mismanagement, but for some reason owner James Dolan has once again seeded power to Thomas. Technically, Thomas isn’t employed by the Knicks as of yet but according to this report he is driving everything through James Dolan including the handling (or rather mishandling) of the Carmelo Anthony trade, the departure of Donnie Walsh, and the future hiring of the Knicks’ next President and GM.
One front office executive is quoted as saying “Isiah is calling the shots in New York. It’s a disgrace. Donnie should walk.”
Dolan, under the direction of Isiah, has continually overruled Walsh throughout the trade talks and continues to undermine the authority and responsibilities that he once hired him to oversee. Walsh has reportedly stood firm in never wanting to trade Raymond Felton for Chauncey Billups and has firmly stood against trading Danilo Gallinari as a part of the package.
So when you start to think about why on earth this trade has taken months and seems like one of the most dysfunctional things in all of sports, that’s because it is. A man who once completely wrecked the Knicks has been essentially given the powers of the General Manager for perhaps the most important trade in history of the franchise. All the while, the man who worked tirelessly to restore the franchise to respectability is being continually disregarded, overruled, and undermined right in front of his face.
If the waiting games hasn’t turned Anthony off to the idea of playing for the Knicks, the idiocy and ridiculousness of this situation and James Dolan’s continual obsession with letting Isiah Thomas wreck his team should be enough to make him seriously consider option D, E, and F.
New Jersey Nets Billionaire owner, Mikhail Prokhorov has ordered his front office to abandon the trade that could have sent Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey/Brooklyn according to multiple sources including ESPN. Since taking over the team, Prokhorov made it clear that he wants to build a winner and do it fast. Many believed that therefore, he would do everything in his power to bring ‘Melo to the Nets in order to secure a legit NBA superstar.
For a man who has near infinite resources, the price associated with Carmelo Anthony was apparently too high. Prokhorov called off the scheduled meeting with Anthony and abruptly declared the deal dead.
“There comes a time when the price is simply too expensive,” he said during a news conference in New Jersey this afternoon.
“I’m instructing our team to walk away from the deal.”
Prokhorov said his meeting with Anthony, which was set for Thursday, is canceled.”It’s been too long and too expensive,” he said. When asked if that was a final decision, he responded, “for sure.”
It is certainly strange that after months of pursuing this deal and with a meeting schedule that the Russian billionaire would just call off the deal so quickly. Perhaps he received enough information that made it clear that Carmelo wouldn’t re-sign with the Nets. Carmelo has made it abundantly clear that he wants to go to the Knicks and only the Knicks.
Many believed that the Nets may be able to persuade Anthony to re-sign with the Nets, but barring an agreement that he would stay in New Jersey/Brooklyn, the trade made no sense for the Nets. ‘Melo wouldn’t make them a title contender this season so anything they gave up for him would ultimately be wasted.
Perhaps this is the reason Prokhorov called it off. With the Nets out of the picture, the Nuggets may now be forced to deal Anthony to the Knicks who were previously unable to meet the Nuggets’ steep asking price. But with only a short period of time between now and the trade deadline, the Nuggets are going to be forced to maximize their return in a no-win situation.
Many believe that the Knicks and the Bulls are the front-runners to land Anthony this season, but if I were the Nuggets, I’d send him wherever I got the best deal regardless of Anthony’s wishes. The issue is, however, that Anthony will be a free agent at the end of the season so whatever team that deals for him will only do so if they believe they can re-sign. This significantly reduces the field of legitimate suitors.
New day, new ‘Melo rumor, but this one is pretty interesting. Yahoo Sports is reporting that the 3 team trade that has been in the works to send Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets may be called off. The Nuggets have reportedly threatened the Nets to keep trade talks quiet or else. Or else what? The Nuggets say if trade talks are not kept quiet they’ll send the NBA Superstar across town to the rival New York Knicks.
We all know that the Knicks have been Carmelo’s preferred landing spot. This is something that the Nets know full well and so it places a great deal of leverage on the Nets to comply with the Nuggets wishes. But questions arise about the legitimacy of these threats as the Nuggets would likely need to take a much lesser trade package in return from the Knicks. After all, if the Nuggets could have gotten what they want from the Knicks, you would have to believe they would have done it quite a long time ago.
So the question then is, would the Nuggets really take part in a weaker trade just to make a point to the Nets and the rest of the NBA? I think it’s highly unlikely. This is about business and the Nuggets have a responsibility to make the most of a crappy situation. Their superstar has basically told them that under no circumstances will he resign with them and that he’s unhappy being there through the term of his contract. They can say what they want publicly, but ‘Melo has been asking, begging or demanding for a trade for quite some time. So the Nuggets are forced to maximize what they can get, which will not come close to the value they are giving up.
But if you’re the Nets, and you’re on the cusp of landing an NBA superstar, the player your cross town rivals so desperately want, why risk it? Would the Nuggets actually follow through on this threat? Doubtful. But it’s certainly not worth the risk. There is nothing to lose for the Nets to comply and to simply keep their mouths shut.
And according to Yahoo Sports, they have done just that. They report that the talks significantly changed tone yesterday and that the executives have gone “underground”. Meaning that NBA insiders have been unable to glean any information about the trade discussions and that both teams are doing as the Nuggets wish.
Who knows when the ‘Melo soap opera will come to a close, but at least for now, the 3 team mega-deal between the Nuggets, Nets, and Pistons seem to be back on track.