4-Team Melo To NJ Talks Heat Up

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Lala Vasquez and Carmelo Anthony attend the John Varvatos 10th Anniversary Party at John Varvatos 315 Bowery Boutique on September 11, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Gabriela Maj/Getty Images)

Will Lala Vasquez's desire to be in the New York area be enough to convince Melo to join the Nets? Depends if he cares if the team sucks. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

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…

  • http://www.shattertheglass.com bgalella

    Exactly, why is everyone so down on Devin Harris? He’s still a good player, he had a bad season last year, but fully healthy with Brook Lopez and Troy Murphy, he should revert to his All-Star form. I think it would be a mistake to deal Harris and Derrick Favors, that is too steep for Jersey.

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      I’m with you that Devin’s good, but he’s also starting to develop an “injury-prone” label. And one could reasonably argue that he couldn’t be that great if him and Brook Lopez were unable to lead the team to more than 12 victories last year. As far as Derrick Favors, he was clearly a big enough question mark this season that the Nets went and got Troy Murphy. Maybe he’ll be great, but we’ve also seen high picks flounder or only be solid (like say Marvin Williams). As I said, I think the Nets gotta go for it if they can get him (versus I definitely think Chicago is right in not giving up Noah for him), but I’d think twice about it if I’m Melo.

  • Chase Thomas

    Jazz are doing it for the sole reason of winning the division. With Melo gone the Nuggets are back to the gutter for now, and Sloan hates AK.

    Nets are giving up a front court with tons of potential and apparently giving up on T-Will. If their goal is to have to him play the 2 then this season should be full of laughs for the Nets this season because T-Will is a point forward and has one of the worst jumpshots in the league.

    The Bobcats get a lot better with this deal though because with Felton signing with us this summer the Bobcats have a gaping hole at point. Although, Harris is one of the worst defensive point guards in the league so expect Larry Brown to be in his ear all season.

    Nuggets get worse no matter what by dealing Melo and now have to rely on Favors becoming a franchise guy. Still shocked they actually are going to go through dealing him.

    This is still truly frustrating as a Knicks fan, but expected. Hopefully Donnie learns from this and tries to build through the draft from now on.

  • http://www.shattertheglass.com bgalella

    I don’t think brining in Troy Murhpy was a good move. He’s in the last year of his contract, can get 10 rebounds a game and gives some time for Derrick Favors to develop. He is 19 and the year on the bench will be benefial to him. New Jersey gave up Courtney Lee, and will now start Terrence Williams, last year’s first round pick. They are making all the right moves, just need to strike something big to make it to the next level. If Harris is moved, would you really want to start Jordan Farmar? Chirs Quinn? I don’t see how moving Harris helps out this team.

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      I don’t think moving Harris helps either, but if they want Melo, clearly this is the price the Nets need to pay.

      And I had no problem with the Troy Murphy trade. It was the overpaying for Travis Outlaw that I thought was insane.

  • http://www.shattertheglass.com bgalella

    *I meant Troy Murphy bad move, not sure why I typed good move.

  • http://www.shattertheglass.com Brendan Galella

    Travis Outlaw and Amir Johnson will battle it out for most random guy to inexplicably sign a $35 million contract.