Many Nuggets fans have been frustrated by the apparent lack of progress in a Carmelo Anthony trade -- a situation that's keeping players and fans alike in limbo and leaves open the possibility that the Nugs will wind up with nothing à la Toronto and Cleveland. Now, a front office sacking offers more evidence that caution may trump action.
The man given the heave-ho is Bret Bearup, who, according to Yahoo! Sports, was among the primary proponents of a four-team proposal that would have sent Melo to the New Jersey Nets, with the Nuggets receiving a number of pieces, including rookie Derrick Favors.
Yahoo! interprets the Bearup move as suggesting the Nugs are going to sit and wait for a while longer when it comes to Anthony, although decision-makers are apparently still looking for a way to get the 76ers' Andre Iguodala into a Denver uni.
Bad news for those of us who'd like the Nuggets to act sooner rather than later? Maybe not. CBS Sports' Ken Berger has a slightly different take on what the Bearup beaning means, with his analysis centering on de facto general manager Masai Ujiri. He writes:
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But will this shakeup, first reported Tuesday by Yahoo! Sports, ultimately determine whether Anthony is traded or not? That's a stretch. One thing for sure is that the Nuggets' brass will now operate more secretively and from a unified power source, which has not been the case in recent years. The lack of clarity rival executives ran into this past summer in communicating with Denver officials was nothing new; it dated back to the awkward duo of Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman, who did not get along and were ultimately let go in the first phase of this purge.
One thing to remember in all of this: Ujiri was stung by Chris Bosh's departure from Toronto as a free agent and clearly wants to avoid a similar situation with Melo. Whatever the Nuggets do, they're likely to be more transparent about it than they have in the past. If nothing else, when GMs call Denver now, they'll at least be able to figure out who's making the decisions.
Here's hoping Ujiri really does want to pull the trigger eventually. So far this season, Nuggets fans haven't been able to engage with the current lineup because of their suspicion that it won't remain intact for much longer -- and the players don't seem particularly driven or motivated, as last night's horror show in Indiana demonstrated. Yes, it was the second night of a back to back, and blowouts even happen to good teams during the course of an NBA season. But none of the ballers appeared to give a damn that they were being embarrassed -- and allowing such a lackadaisical attitude to linger long-term is bad for everyone.
More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony's house for sale: Take a photo tour of current (and future?) Nuggets' mansion."