Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups up for trade in a Denver-Houston-Charlotte 3-way?

The theory that Carmelo Anthony is as good as gone from Denver was buoyed by new reports last week that Melo's demanded a trade.

The latest supposition: Both Anthony and Chauncey Billups, the homegrown Mr. Big Shot, could be headed out the door.

Brandon Ribak's Bleacher Report piece on this possibility leans heavily on tweets from ESPN's John Hollinger, whose first missive reads:

Here's what I don't get: Melo's people are bluffing. Get way less commission w/o that extension due to new CBA. Nugs still w/ some leverage.less than a minute ago via web

Shortly thereafter, Hollinger added this:

Remember, if the Nuggets trade Melo and rebuild, there's really no point in them keeping Billups either. Could be two All-Stars on market.less than a minute ago via web

He elaborated like so:

If Nuggets do hold a Melo auction, my $$ is on Melo to Hou in a three-way with Charlotte -- Dampier to Den (gets under tax), Brooks to Cha.less than a minute ago via web

Hollinger soon received this response:

@JaredDudley619 Not sure off-court $ changes much unless he goes to NY, but yes, would be huge gamble by Nugs to call his bluff.less than a minute ago via web

He replied:

To clarify earlier post, Den would get much more than Damp -- get the NY picks from Hou, for starters. Only got 140 characters.less than a minute ago via web

The Nuggets had better get more than just Damp -- the Bobcats' Erick Dampier. Yes, the Nugs need a big man, and there's every indication Charlotte wants to get rid of him. But Dampier is 35 -- hardly a building block in the youthful foundation Denver will need if Anthony is suddenly wearing a new uniform.

Regarding Billups, Hollinger offers no specifics, but his theory makes sense on at least one level. With Melo gone, the Nuggets automatically go into several years (at least) of rebuilding -- so why not get value for the aging Billups now rather than sticking with him?

Fan reaction, for one thing. If both Carmelo and Chauncey leave simultaneously, Nuggets boosters are likely to tear down the Pepsi Center. Which is yet another reason why being new Nugs general manager Masai Ujiri right now has got to be no fun at all.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts