Early last week, we argued that Carmelo Anthony was as good as gone from the Denver Nuggets -- and while some locals continued to fantasize about Melo signing a $65 million contract extension, it's time to stop dreaming. A persuasive Yahoo! Sports report makes it clear that new Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri's first order of business will be to peddle Anthony to the team most willing to offer value in exchange for this franchise talent. Could the Charlotte Bobcats or the woeful L.A. Clippers really have a shot?
That's the speculation shared by Adrian Wojnarowski, who penned the Yahoo! Sports piece. He lists the New Jersey Nets and the Clippers as the top two possible destinations, due in part to their surplus of young prospects and entertainment-industry ties, which presumably would please Melo's new bride, Lala Vazquez. Of course, her hubby isn't exactly allergic to show biz, either, given that Melo's filming a movie called Amazing in China at present.
Other contenders mentioned by Wojnarowski: Golden State, Houston and Charlotte, "because of Anthony's Brand Jordan shoe deal and the team's ability to give the Nuggets a salary-dump proposal."
Problem is, Anthony will want to hook up with other superstars in an effort to challenge the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh triumvirate in Miami, and none of these clubs qualify -- suggesting that Wojnarowski's sources may be within the Nuggets' organization, not Melo's braintrust.
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Simply put, this could get complicated, and the longer it drags out, the less likely the Nuggets are to get the sort of building blocks for the future capable of making fans feel good about bidding farewell to the player who boosted Denver to respectability after a long, grim tour of the barrel's bottom.