The rumors have come and gone since September, but this time they could be a reality. The Nets, Nuggets, and Pistons are moving closer to a three team trade that would send 3x NBA all-star Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey, along with Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, Pistons Guard Richard Hamilton, and Nuggets guard Anthony Carter. In return, the Nuggets would receive forward Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris, guard Anthony Morrow, guard Stephen Graham, guard Ben Uzoh, and at least two first-round draft picks, while the Pistons would receive forward Troy Murphy, center Johan Petro, and draft picks.
Chauncy Billups? Richard Hamilton? It does appear insane on the part of the Nets, seeing as the two players are 34 and 32 respectively; however, there is a method to their madness. The two big names of the past would put enough talent into the Net’s roster to persuade Anthony to sign the extension with the Nets. The Nuggets have offered Carmelo Anthony a 3 year, $65 Million extension, but he has shown no interest in returning to Denver next season. His true wish is to play in New York as a Knick; however, the Knicks appear content with their roster as it is, and aren’t so willing to part with their young talent (SF Danilo Gallinari, SF Wilson Chandler, and SG Landry Fields), nor do they have a surplus of draft picks to offer as do the Nets.
With Carmelo Anthony, how good are the Nets? As a Nets fan, I can tell you first-hand that the team’s rebuilding period has been nothing short of painful, and that we fans have seen very little results. This past summer’s free agency market generated a tremendous amount of hype: LeBron James? Chris Bosh? Dwayne Wade? No. We got nothing. In fact, we acquired worse than nothing: a 3 year deal with Johan Petro worth $10 Million, and a 5 year deal with Travis Outlaw worth $35 Million. What?! These players do not help the Nets win games, this is a fact, and they simply burden the team’s salary cap. The management just spent money for the sake of spending money. However, this current deal would give the Net’s management a chance to redeem themselves, in losing the dead-weight contract of Johan Petro, and acquiring two large, near expiring contracts in Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton. Oh, and not to mention a highly coveted superstar, and potential franchise player. In short, this deal combined with a relocation and face-lift could finally give Nets fan something to cheer for.