HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Any legitimate news on the Carmelo Anthony trade-rumor front would be good news at this point. After weeks of empty table scraps we need a meal of substance where ‘Melo is concerned.
But what we’ve been chewing on lately tastes like warmed-over garbage.
Will we really have to sweat this thing out until the Feb. 24 trade deadline? It appears we could be in for an extended period of mellow chatter on the ‘Melo situation.
The Nets and Nuggets have discussed various trade scenarios, and just before Christmas they nearly worked out a three-team deal involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to league sources.
The Nets have a standing offer of rookie Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and Troy Murphy on the table, but last month, sources said the Nuggets aren’t interested in Murphy because they would inherit the remaining $8 million on his expiring contract. So the Nets brought in Cleveland and its $14.5 million trade exception.
Denver would have received Favors, Devin Harris and three first-round picks. Cleveland would have received Murphy and one or two first-round picks, and the Nets would have received Anthony, Al Harrington and the Cavaliers’ trade exception, the sources said.
Beyond the sticking point of Anthony’s accepting or refusing to sign the long-term extension with New Jersey, the deal fell apart because both Denver and Cleveland wanted the 2012 first-round pick the Nets got from Golden State in the Marcus Williams trade. That pick is protected through the first seven slots.
The underlying sentiment is that we should all find other things to do between now and Feb. 24.
Even Nets GM Billy King sounds like a man willing to stretch out and survey the landscape while the Nuggets and Anthony decide what they want to do.
“There’s always deals,’’ King told reporters in New Jersey earlier this week. “We’re in conversations with different teams about a lot of different things. There may be a small deal that we’ll do in a month, or two weeks. But it just takes time.’’
How much time?
We’ve been stewing on these Anthony rumors since the summer. Early on, it seemed like the Nuggets had risen above the mess. They played admirably without injured big men Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen. But lately, they look like a team going through the motions.
Have you seen some of the outfits the Nuggets have lost to in the last month? Sacramento (last night in a blowout), Charlotte, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Clippers have all carved a piece of the Nuggets’ hide for their lottery-bound trophy cases.
If the Nuggets aren’t careful, they could join that motley crew at the lottery festivities. Their predicament seemed much more solid when you thought they had a chance to be a playoff team and make a potentially monster deal for Anthony at the same time.
By Feb. 24, the only thing left to do might be to make a deal and wait for that shuttle to the lottery.