4-Team Melo To NJ Talks Heat Up


As currently reported, the Nets would get Melo and give up Devin Harris, Derrick Favors plus presumably a draft pick.  The Nuggets would get Favors and the draft pick.  Harris would go to the Charlotte Bobcats, who presumably aren’t too excited about having either DJ Augustin or Shaun Livingston be their starting point guard.  In return, they’d give up Boris Diaw (allowing Ty Thomas to start, what with them having given him a huge ol’ contract in the off-season).  Diaw would go to the Utah Jazz, who in turn would send Andrei Kirilenko to the Nuggets.  The report says the Nuggets would receive multiple draft picks, not just one, so either the Nets would be giving up more than one or another team would be ponying up one.

Supposedly the main thing holding it up (and it’s a huge thing) is that New Jersey hasn’t yet gotten assurances from Carmelo that he’ll sign an extension with them.  However, to me, there are some odd parts to this trade.

1. Why are the Jazz doing it?  AK-47, who they’ve long wanted to get rid of due to his insanely high salary, is now in the final year of his contract.  Expiring contracts are extremely valuable as trade bait.  The Jazz have also been concerned about paying the luxury tax, so they could also just hang onto him for the season and let his money come off the books then.  Instead, they’re using it to acquire Boris Diaw, who plays power forward and center, when they’ve already got Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Mehmet Okur there.  Yes, Okur’s injured and will miss the beginning of the season, but it seems fairly short-sighted if that’s the reason.  If they do this trade, next season, just for those four bigs, who all should get starter type minutes but obviously wouldn’t be able to due to the logjam, Utah would be paying over $40 million dollars.  Just for those two spots.  Throw in Deron Williams and they’re pretty much at $57 million, which is about what the salary cap was this season.  As a result, at the remaining two spots (shooting guard and small forward) they’ll go forward with just Raja Bell and CJ Miles.  And this season, since they let Kyle Korver go and would be trading away Kirilenko, Miles would be the only small forward on the roster (okay, they’d have rookie Jeremy Evans, but c’mon, he shouldn’t even be on the floor).  Why they would do this without getting a decent swingman back baffles me.

2. If New Jersey does it, their only point guard remaining will be Jordan Farmar.  Regardless of whether Melo likes the lovely state of New Jersey or not, would he really wanna join a team where his starting guards would be Farmar and Anthony Morrow?  Plus, with the team having given up draft picks, it ain’t like they’d improve that way.  Yes, they could have the cap space next summer to pay for a max free agent, but only if they let power forward Troy Murphy walk or sign for a much, much smaller contract than he currently has.  Not to mention their “big” free agent signing this summer was Travis Outlaw, who they’re paying $7 million to play the spot where Melo would play.  Outlaw probably ain’t gonna be too happy to find himself stuck with only 20 minutes of playing time.  Of course, I still think the Nets have got to go through with it if they can because it’s much easier to upgrade at point guard and shooting guard than it is to land an elite top 5 scorer in the league.  However, if I’m Melo, I’m not sure I’d wanna go to a team that’d be decimated by my arrival.

‘Course maybe I’m just saying that ‘cuz I want him to end up with the Knicks…