With ESPN reporting that Carmelo Anthony could be close to asking for a trade. It's very possible that Anthony could be leaving before the season and absolutely the case that he'll leave at the trading deadline.
First things first, if Carmelo signs his extension, he would still likely be demanding a trade, which is very odd. The Knicks just about can't trade for him if he does (and really even if he doesn't). The have Gallinari to trade, but that's really it. They can't trade anything else worthwhile (Randolph) until December or so. And why then would Anthony think that situation is better than what he already has? Let's be truthful though, he wouldn't be even thinking about this trade if it was all about winning, because the Nuggets are set up to be very good this season. So, is it Knicks, period for Anthony?
It looks like that might be the case, and the Rockets could be shunned again in the process. Anthony is the only top 5 young guy that is not under a longer term contract (Lebron, Wade, Durant, Anthony and Paul with Bryant obviously not young anymore). This goes straight at exactly what Daryl Morey has set up the Rockets to be able to do, trade for a Carmelo Anthony type, and let's face it, he's the only one out there. I don't think anyone else is even close. My gut feeling is that Morey wanted Bosh so badly because Anthony is so high on the want list that having another guy here that is young and really good might entice him. It's sad, because the Rockets would have an infinitely better chance to win than the Knicks would with Anthony over the next 3 seasons before Chris Paul inevitably joins he and Amare. And frankly, that three is every bit as good as Miami's big three. It could be argued that, given positions, it's a better fit, though I won't do that here. That's 3 seasons away though.
So could Anthony sign his extension and just choose to go to New York after his contract is up? Money is an issue, maybe not for him, but in general. The collective bargaining agreement is surely going to lower overall contracts, so signing this deal now could be the equivalent of what Kevin Garnett did the last time before max level deals were truly defined. It would be incredibly intelligent of Anthony to do just that, sign the deal with the agreement that he is traded to one of a few teams, because I can't see the Nuggets agreeing to take back Eddy Curry, which is the only way a trade can be made there without involving 4 or 5 teams. If this happens, the Rockets would absolutely be in the mix. What would they have to trade to get him? That's the big question.
I'm guessing the Nuggets would start with something like Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin and one of the Knicks draft picks (or right to the swap pick), which would get them almost all the way to the 17 million that Carmelo is owed this season. Would you do that? I've thought about that since this morning when Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler on 790 were throwing exactly that idea around. The answer is, of course you would. I really, really like Kevin Martin and think, without this trade, he's going to be awesome as a Rocket this year. Top 20 player awesome. That said, you have a backup point guard that is getting paid like a decent starter and who can absolutely run the team. You also just traded for a guy that Morey believes is a capable starter in this league. Put that together and that trade would be acceptable. Look at it another way though, has Morey ever been the guy that traded the most away? Or settled for an easy deal like that?
Nope, and while if it came down to it, I think he would accept the trade, there is no team that can even come close to that deal. So why should the Rockets have to? Sadly, the trade machine is not working for me right now, so I can't put forth an exact trade. However, I think something more along the lines of Martin and Battier would do it. Let's not get that twisted around, I think Morey would do everything he could to keep Martin here, but the Nuggets won't be looking for salary cap relief. There is absolutely no point in it. They aren't really hurting for money from anything I've seen and they have a good team even without Anthony, though clearly not a contender. So they'd want to stay relatively young as well as be a viable "if thing break right" Finals contender. So no, Battier and Jefferies with some picks isn't going to get it done.
What do you think Dreamshakers? What do you think would suffice both Denver and Houston? Notice, I didn't say what would you trade to get Anthony, so no Battier, Mike Harris, Jefferies and Jermaine Taylor opinions!!