Apparently one of the reasons that New York is no longer mentioned as a feasible trade destination for Carmelo Anthony is because his current team, the Denver Nuggets, believe that during the summer the Knicks illegally tried to convince Melo to join them. ESPN.com reports (italics below are mine):
The New York Knicks, who are Anthony’s team of choice, have continued to pursue Anthony, but Denver is currently cold to all conversations with the Knicks. While the Nuggets aren’t enamored with New York’s roster, they also believe the Knicks may have done some back-channel recruiting of Anthony over the summer, and are therefore determined not to work with the Knicks except as a last resort, according to sources.
Ugh. Sadly, that’s not even the only reason we won’t be able to get a deal done:
I can’t wait to see our two young guys develop, but I think if you can get Melo, you gotta give ‘em both up. ‘Cuz if we have both Amar’e and Melo, you know Tony Parker and Chris Paul will be clamoring to get here. Deron Williams becomes a free agent shortly too. Particularly for him and CP3 it would be really enticing to not only play with two studs but for an organization that doesn’t mind paying money to improve even if it means going way over the cap. But since Denver’s refusing to deal with us, I’d best stop dreaming.
At least the article also has a bit of comforting news. I’ve felt this 4-team deal could/should go through at any moment, so I haven’t understood why the Nuggets are holding it up even though they’re getting the young talent and first round draft picks they want. Turns out there’s an excellent reason that makes it fairly unlikely the trade would go through as reported. What is it?
The trade, which would involve Charlotte and Utah and make Anthony a member of the Nets, would cost Denver nearly $10 million, a reality that is a major problem for the Nuggets, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard.
“Stan Kroenke is not going to pay that much money to take a step backwards,” the source said of the Nuggets’ owner. “They’ll have to find a way for Denver to take on less money for that deal to happen.”
In the proposed deal, which was first reported by ESPN.com on Friday, the Nuggets would receive Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko ($17.8 million), New Jersey rookie Derrick Favors ($4.1 million) and two future first-round draft picks for Anthony, who makes $17.1 million. Their payroll would increase by $4.8 million and since they are over the luxury tax, they’d pay another $4.8 million, meaning Denver would pay an extra $9.6 million this season to become a worse team.
Sure, the Nets are working to re-jigger the trade and will likely end up getting their man, but this specific trade could have really hurt the Knicks. Not only would New Jersey get a guy we’d love, but also Charlotte would fill their hole at point. That’d swing the Bobcats from being a team that seems unlikely to have a shot at the playoffs to being a near certainty at snagging one of the two remaining Eastern playoff spots (behind sure-thing returnees Boston, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta). It’d leave us with only one playoff spot left while also turning the Nets into another contender for that eight seed. To miss out on LeBron, Melo and then the playoffs again would be a huge triple blow.