After atrade that would have sent Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey
fell through (andChicago re-signed Joakim Noah
), Denver fans began to wonder if Anthony might remain in Denver for a while longer -- even as other observers debated whether theNuggets would be better off without Melo
. But now, reports are surfacing about new attempts to wheel and deal, with Chauncey Billups and the L.A. Clippers' Chris Kamen among the names mentioned.
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The journalist driving many of these rumblings is CBS Sports' Ken Berger. In his latest report, he writes that the four-team deal with New Jersey came unmoored due partly to the Nuggets' desire to obtain one more "asset," plus the sense that Utah's Andrei Kirilenko wouldn't ink a contract extension.
However, one of Berger's sources suggested that the Nuggets could revitalize trade talks by tossing Chauncey Billups in to the package -- something that would likely entice the likes of Charlotte's Larry Brown to get involved.
Berger also hears that the Nuggets have actively pursued talks with the L.A. Clippers -- a team that's never been able to step into the league's elite, but one based in the sort of location that would appeal to LaLa Vazquez, Melo's attention-loving spouse. In this scenario, a major target was Kamen, but, Berger writes, "discussions died quickly when it became evident that the Nuggets wanted Eric Gordon in addition to one of the most valuable first-round picks in the league -- Minnesota's pick, which is top-10 protected in 2011 and unprotected in '12."
Whether this deal can be revived or not, the mere fact that the Nuggets are continuing to work the phones is a good sign. Allowing Melo to remain on Denver's roster through the 2010-2011 season isn't an option, since the Nugs would likely get nothing in exchange, thereby virtually guaranteeing years of mediocrity. And Coloradans want a viable NBA franchise, not an opportunity to burn Anthony jerseys in Cleveland-style bonfires come next summer.