Despite Carmelo Anthony's recent I-want-a-change comment to Yahoo! Sports, the Melo trade rumors that were rife during the off-season have died down now that the games count. But they haven't gone away, with the latest rumblings involving franchises that were previously identified as possible Anthony destinations: the NJ Nets and Chicago Bulls.
Brandon Putre, Bleacher Report's featured Nets columnist, writes that New Jersey has put a new offer on the table:
The proposed deal would send power forwards Troy Murphy and Derrick Favors, as well as two first round picks to Denver in exchange for the Nuggets' three time all-star.
Putre points out that this package "is great for the Nuggets," and if it's the genuine item, he's not far off. While we still don't know what kind of NBA player Favors will turn out to be, Murphy could offer the big-man-challenged Nugs some much-needed beef -- and those two first rounders would definitely come in handy down the line.
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Meanwhile, Mark Schanowski of CSNChicago.com is talking about a completely different deal -- a three-team transaction that would conclude with Anthony in a Bulls uni and current Bull Luol Deng as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Nuggets receiving Philly talents Andre Iguodala and Taj Gibson plus a first rounder.
This particular haul represents a mixed bag from the Denver perspective. Iguodala and Gibson could contribute right away, but aside from Iguodala's scoring aptitude, which would come in handy on a post-Melo roster, they don't address the Nugs' needs in the middle to a large degree. And, of course, two first-round picks are obviously better than one.
Whatever the case, the Nuggets need to get aggressive about making a trade happen. The team's in limbo and crowds aren't coming out to the Pepsi Center in the numbers they might if there wasn't a sense that the other sneaker was about to drop. On ESPN last night, George Karl talked about trying to convince Anthony that he should stay in Denver, which is all good and well from a PR perspective. But if these comments reflect the squad's real strategy, the Nuggets will almost certainly wind up in the same sorry situation as Cleveland and Toronto next summer.
More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony trade: Would the Nuggets be better off without Melo than with him?"