We're hearing conflicting reports about the long-rumored trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets. Some sources suggest that a deal for Melo and Chauncy Billups is imminent, while another says it's on the rocks due to the Nuggets' insistence on including Al Harrington in the package.
Moments ago, the Detroit Free Press maintained that the Pistons are ready to move on a three-team deal that would send Anthony, Billups, Anthony Carter and Sheldon Williams to the Garden State for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Graham, Quinton Ross, Ben Uzoh and "potentially multiple first-round picks." As for the Pistons, they'd bid farewell to Rip Hamilton, getting Troy Murphy and Nugget Johan Petro in return.
That'd be a mammoth move by all parties. But ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that the whole thing's hit a snag. Here's the whole series:
Holdup to NJ-Den-Det trade is that Den wants NJ to take Al Harrington. NJ doesn't want to b/c Al has 4 yrs, $28 mill left on deal.
NJ could try to recruit s 4th team to take Harrington, but their hope is that Den eliminates Harrington request.
NJ will give Detroit a draft pick for taking Petro, not determined whether 1st or 2nd rounder yet.
Chauncey's hesitation to go to NJ not a factor. Billups will get full $14 mill next season from NJ. That was his main concern.
Billups won't hold up deal, but sources just told me he will either want a buyout after season or a long-term commitment (extension) from NJ
SB Nation's Mike Prada blames the latest mess on Masai Ujiri, the Nugs' de facto general manager. He writes:
Completing a trade this big is difficult, but every time, it's the Nuggets that seem to be ensuring it doesn't happen. Meanwhile, the team is struggling, the home fans are booing and Anthony is doing his best "Both Teams Played Hard" impression.
Cold feet is understandable, but it's tiresome. Just get the deal done already.
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I feel Prada's pain. The trade rumors are clearly impacting Melo and the Nuggets in an enormously negative way, as witnessed by last night's humiliating defeat to the New Orleans Hornets, during which Anthony managed just eight points.
Was it just a bad game? Or is Carmelo sending a message through his on-court play that his patience is at an end? Whatever the case, the eagerness to dump Harrington, the Nuggets' primary off-season acquisition, is yet another indictment of the team's management -- and it will hardly make fans optimistic that the Nuggets can avoid a post-trade tailspin reminiscent of the Cleveland Cavs following LeBron James's departure...
More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony trade: Did Amare Stoudemire, NY Knicks kill 4-way deal featuring NJ Nets?"