Carmelo Anthony trade to New Jersey Nets more about location than money or rings

The blogosphere has known that Carmelo Anthony has been available for months -- but now that ESPN concurs, media outlets such as the Denver Post have joined the chorus. And if reports about Melo's willingness to sign with the Nets are true, they suggest he's more interested in going home, and making his wife happy, than in winning championships.

If rings were Anthony's main thing, he'd be pressuring the Nuggets to work out a transaction with Chicago. After all, the Bulls have strong talent to shop, plus the duo of Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer, who could combine with Carmelo to create a troika every bit as formidable as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

New Jersey, on the other hand, is close to Anthony's old stamping grounds, not to mention the entertainment industry -- an important consideration for Melo bride La La Vazquez, whose VH1 reality show, La La's Full Court Wedding, shows her to be exactly the sort of spotlight addict unlikely to endorse a deal to stay in a celebrity backwater like Denver.

Of course, Chicago's a pretty good notoriety launching pad, as the worldwide fame of Michael Jordan and a certain Oprah Winfrey demonstrates. But if La La is truly driving the train out of Denver, as appears to be the case, Jersey's got a built-in advantage that has nothing to do with on-court play.

As for the Nets, a potential deal floated by ESPN involves number three draft pick Derrick Favors, plus Troy Murphy and Kris Humphries, whose contracts are expiring, and "at least one future first-round pick." Of these possibilities, Favors is easily the most intriguing -- a prospect out of George Tech with some notable skills and upside. But because he's raw, the Nuggets would likely suffer a huge drop-off, at least initially -- and that kind of pressure probably wouldn't aid Favors' development.

With that in mind, another team would likely have to get involved -- which lends credence to rumors from last week about a three-way involving the Nuggets, Nets and Philadelphia 76ers to send Andre Iguodala to Denver. That'd be a better deal for the Nugs, and it would still end with Melo in New Jersey -- which appears to be where he and his wife want to be.

Page down to watch an ESPN report about trade prospects, as well as a highlight clip of Favors:

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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