Posted by Sekou Smith
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — He won’t be a free agent until next year, but don’t assume that Carmelo Anthony‘s fate won’t change this summer.
As crazy as it sounds, the Denver Nuggets might actually consider trading Anthony this summer if they can’t get him signed to a long-term extension.
I know, it sounds preposterous, the Nuggets moving the face of their franchise and one of the league’s top 10 players in a summer filled with uncertainty for so many teams.
The Nuggets are pressing Carmelo Anthony for a long-term commitment, because if he declines a three-year, $65 million contract extension now on the table, the team must consider trading its leading scorer.
Trade Melo? Would the Nuggets really part ways with a 26-year-old forward in the prime of his NBA career? Denver might not have any choice.
With an eye on how megastars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have held the league’s competitive balance in their fickle hands and turned this summer’s free-agency period into a three-ring circus, the Nuggets seem determined not to let Anthony do the same in Denver.
While their offer of a hefty contract extension proves the Nuggets hope Anthony will remain the face of the franchise for years to come, the team is prepared to trade Melo rather than let him walk as a free agent next summer, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
At a salary of $17 million, Anthony is committed to play for Denver during the upcoming season. But here’s the rub. Anthony can opt out of his contract next summer, and free agency might appear all the more tempting after seeing the league-wide groveling James has instigated.
As a proactive move, the Nuggets have quietly tried to secure the services of Anthony through 2015 before losers in the pursuit of this talent-laden class of free agents can begin dreaming of Melo.
An agent confirmed for me this morning that Kizla’s source is indeed correct, that the Nuggets would be willing to move Anthony if they feel they have no choice.
Could a wild and crazy summer get any crazier?