This summer’s free agency was so thunderous that it found its way to affect contracts set to end next July. A key one being Carmelo Anthony’s deal with the Denver Nuggets. Entering his eighth season in the league, the three-time All-Star has opted to take his talents elsewhere by not agreeing to an extension with the Denver. After what we have seen so far this summer, is anyone really surprised?
The Nuggets are another team that has built a team around a 2003 rookie and done nothing but fallen short. Anthony only took the team past the first round once but was eliminated in the conference finals by the LA Lakers on his birthday. Tough luck.
Now, it looks as though a four-team deal is brewing with the Nets set to acquire Anthony. However, it has become apparent that he is not looking to go alone. He is no idiot and knows that it is going to take a little more than just his talent to turn around a team that flirted with having the worst record in NBA history last season. In addition, we have seen Avery Johnson take a team to the finals but that Mavericks team was already built. We have never seen the young coach build a squad from the ground up which is essentially what he is being faced with in New Jersey. Chris Paul has even entered the conversation but when they moved Darren Collison to Indiana, it became fairly obvious whom the Hornets want as their point guard. He isn’t going anywhere.
Rumors have spread that he may be heading to Charlotte instead. The talent level is a little higher for the young Bobcats but they too are not without flaws. The point guard situation there is flaky. Sharon Collins and D.J. Augustin are very young and the team has yet to even win a playoff game.
Denver has even been talking to other teams including Cleveland and Indiana about a potential trade. The delay is just further frustrating the Nets’ general manager Billy King who wants to finish the deal by Monday. The delay also puts the other two teams in the trade, Utah and Charlotte, in a bind that may force them to pull out of the deal. A looming deal could affect the training camps of all four teams as players on the block try and figure out where they will be playing next season.
It’s the nature of the business though and Denver has a lot to weigh out. The deal would send them rookie Derrick Favors, Andrei Kirilenko and two first-round draft picks. It would essentially send the Nuggets into a rebuilding phase that would set them back years. The careers of J.R. Smith, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington wont last forever.
However, Denver does have a bit to build with. Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson are good building blocks that will be better when those draft picks are made in 2011 and 2012. It’s a hard decision to make and the Nuggets don’t have much time.
Running an NBA team is like running a business. The right decisions will bring about the best results and Denver really has to weight out their options. It’s a matter of time before a deal is made but the Nuggets and Carmelo need to make sure it’s one that will benefit them both the best.