This from Hoopshype.com (and ESPN):
“Sources stress that the saving-money element is an underreported key here. The big problem with the original four-team trade was that Denver would have been forced to pay more than $5 million in additional luxury tax at season’s end after parting with Anthony, which longtime Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, Josh’s father, found unacceptable. Sources said that the Nuggets have registered strong interest in Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum and would naturally be unable to resist if a trade scenario emerged that enabled them to acquire Favors, Batum and future draft considerations. But the Blazers, sources said, continue to tell the Nuggets and all other interested parties (and yes, it’s a long line) that Batum is not available. The Blazers do like Harris and almost crashed the September four-teamer with an offer to send Andre Miller to Charlotte to get the Nets’ point guard, who was originally Bobcats-bound. But the Blazers dread the idea of parting with the blossoming Batum, especially in a deal that the Blazers don’t end up with the best player.
Q: Don’t the Nuggets lose trade leverage every day that passes leading up to the Feb. 24 trading deadline? That’s a popular theory. It assumes that the Nuggets are doomed to field lesser offers as the deadline nears because the whole NBA will be able to smell their desperation. Yet, that’s only a theory. Another plugged-in rival executive swore that no one knows for sure, no matter what you hear he’s heard. The first exec would argue that the Nuggets could “actually gain leverage” by waiting, given that players who signed contracts over the summer become eligible to be traded Dec. 15, potentially adding several new names to existing trade scenarios. He also said he believes that the Nets are so determined to win the Melo Sweepstakes that Denver could easily go back to New Jersey in January, if nothing appetizing materializes in December, and still assemble a deal that would land them Nets rookie Derrick Favors and multiple future first-round picks.”
What’s intriguing about the Blazers being involved in a potential multi-team trade is that they just acquired an additional first-round pick from New Orleans from when they dealt Jerryd Bayless. As of now the Knicks are desperately in need of additional first-rounders since they stupidly gave away all of theirs to Houston last year. Is it possible the Blazers have a potential deal in place with NY to give them their additional first-rounder and to help them sway ‘Melo away from Denver? Portland would love nothing more than to get Carmelo out of their division and out of the conference.
Nicolas Batum (21) is an extremely underrated talent and at 6-8 he can play either the 2 or 3 and excels at defending most wings so it’s no surprise Portland is adamant about not dealing him. Andre Miller is disposable, though. He and Brandon Roy seem to be on completely different pages right now (Roy wants the offense to flow through him at all times). I’d move him ASAP before anything escalates.
Back to the ‘Melo situation. Clearly NJ has a nice little deal in place if Denver so chooses to accept, but as mentioned above, Dec. 15th will be the crucial point in which we see more offers being thrown at Denver, and at this point there’s no rush for Denver to move him. I’d assume if the Knicks receive additional first-rounders and included, say, Anthony Randolph after the 15th then maybe something could materialize, but until then, folks, we can just relax with this ‘Melo situation.
As Matt previously mentioned, what’s the rush?! Maybe some team will impress Denver with a deal they can’t refuse…Doubtful, but it’s worth the wait.