Blog Entry

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

Posted on: December 21, 2010 8:14 pm
The Dallas Mavericks are plotting an aggressive push to acquire Carmelo Anthony, even if they don’t get assurances that the three-time All-Star would agree to a contract extension as part of the trade, league sources told 

Despite his team’s emergence as one of the powers of the Western Conference -- and, as Dallas proved Monday night in Miami, the whole league -- owner Mark Cuban is said to be not only willing to take a chance on Anthony, but eager to steal him from the Nets, who are owned by his billionaire rival, Mikhail Prokhorov. In a deal that would provide Denver with little more than future savings, the Mavs are planning what one rival executive described as a “hard” push. 

The Mavs’ interest has yet to take the form of a concrete offer, as one person connected to the Anthony drama told Tuesday that Dallas had yet to present one. Any prospects the Mavs might have to pull off such a coup would be contingent on Anthony declining to sign an extension with New Jersey. With a signed extension as part of the deal, the Nets still possess by far the most attractive assets to Denver -- Derrick Favors, the expiring contract of Troy Murphy, and multiple first-round picks. 

But that is the question that the Anthony saga has hinged on for months. Part of Dallas’ strategy, according to sources, is to shift the Anthony discussions to what Cuban recently called the “rent-a-player” phase, which would drive down the price and encourage other teams to present offers without assurances that Anthony would stay put for five years -- the two he has remaining (including the early-termination option for 2011-12) plus the extension. 

Such potential suitors, including the Mavs, do not have enough of what Denver is looking for to compete with New Jersey’s best offer. But if Dallas is successful in shifting Denver’s focus to “rental” deals, the Nets would then have to decide how much they are willing to give up to acquire a franchise cornerstone for their move to Brooklyn -- even if Anthony could leave them in the dust as a free agent before the team even got there. 

Meanwhile, the Nuggets remain in a patient posture and are not in any apparent rush to push a New Jersey trade to fruition. And after acquiring two more first-round picks in a three-team trade with the Lakers and Rockets last week, Nets executives are continuing their ongoing efforts to sweeten the deal for Anthony by acquiring a veteran he’d want to play with in Newark, N.J., for a year-and-a-half. Such inducements could come in the form of Al Harrington and/or Chauncey Billups, whom Anthony might be comfortable having on board. The other scenarios, according to one executive familiar with them, are numerous and “beyond challenging” because multiple teams would be needed. 

Among the contending teams with the deep pockets and championship core to take a risk like trading for Anthony without a signed extension as part of the deal, Dallas has the most expiring money to make it worth the Nuggets’ while. Any Dallas proposal would have to include the expiring contracts of Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson. More money would need to be added -- Tyson Chandler? -- or a third team would need to be recruited in order to take Harrington and/or Billups off Denver’s hands. 

The notion of Anthony going to a contender -- or to the Nets, for that matter -- without signing his three-year, $65 million extension is exactly what New York Knicks officials are hoping for. Sources say the Knicks continue to believe that the longer the Anthony situation plays out, the better their chances of landing him through a trade, or more likely, as a free agent after the season and anticipated lockout. New York has been Anthony’s preferred destination since his operatives began pushing for a trade in September, and a person directly involved in Anthony’s decision-making process told earlier this month that he’d become more entrenched in his desire to agree to an extend-and-trade only if he would up with the Knicks. also reported that Anthony has not shared his position with Nuggets officials, and that Nets officials have been told differently by Anthony’s camp. 

Another team that various team executives believe is very much in the mix -- either to make a push to land Melo as a rental or become involved as a third-team facilitator -- is the Rockets. Houston fully expects to receive a disabled-player exception for Yao Ming totaling $5.8 million and already has a $6.3 million exception from the Trevor Ariza trade. Such exceptions can’t be combined, but individually they could be used to absorb a contract -- such as, for example, the Nuggets’ J.R. Smith’s or Harrington’s -- without sending equal money back. In return, the Rockets would either have to get a player they want or be compensated accordingly with draft picks or other assets. The Rockets also are flush with the expiring contracts of Shane Battier, Jared Jeffries, and even Yao, whose contract is insured due to his season-ending foot injury. 

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has a history of bold moves, and has placed few restrictions on his front office, led by GM Daryl Morey, to spend money in order to win. The Rockets, for example, are currently a tax-paying team and are under no mandate from ownership to shed salary even though they are off to a slow start and have lost Yao for the season -- and maybe for good. 

A dark horse in all of this? The Mavs’ opponent Tuesday night, Orlando. The Magic have a little more than two months before the Feb. 24 trade deadline to see if their revamped roster will be good enough to contend for a title after this week’s blockbuster trades with Phoenix and Washington. But the only piece that is likely to be available and enticing to Denver is Jason Richardson, whose $14.4 million contract expires after the season. Richardson cannot be combined with other players in a trade for 60 days, which would leave just enough time before the trade deadline to involve him in the Anthony discussions. 

If -- and this is a big if -- Anthony is still a Nugget by then.

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: December 23, 2010 1:44 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

Berger likes to fantasize about bogus melo trades.

Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: December 23, 2010 12:02 am

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

No way will Melo be a Mav. New york is where he will be.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2010 5:29 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

Why are still pretending like we do not know already how this will play out?  Carmelo has refused to sign the offer that the Nuggets have left on the table for him.  He has made it clear that he will not sign the extension unless he is traded to New York.  That is ALL the information you need.  He cannot force the Nuggets hand anymore than that.  Carmelo is content to play out his contract with the Nuggets, hope he doesn't get injured and then sign as a free agent with the Knicks next summer.  The nuggets are in denial if they think any scenario other than that will happen unless they are able to pull of the trade with the Nets.  I say the Nets, because the notion of Cuban, as reckless as he can be with money, is not going to take a gamble like that for a couple months worth of service.  To trade Chandler would be a mistake and the Mavericks are playing outstanding ball right now.  The nuggets are hoping they can get fair value because they know in their hearts he will walk.  If I were the Nets, Mavs and everyone else dreaming, I would stay away from this and focus on more realistic options.  Melo will be a Knick.

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:29 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

Speculative garbage.

Since: Dec 22, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2010 3:04 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

I dont think this is a good idea for the mavs. Right now, they are arguably the best team in the NBA and their team chemistry looks to be just perfect. You cant get better than perfect, ANY changes right now (whether subtle or huge such as this) could possibly make the mavs much worse off.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2010 2:29 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

Carmelo doesnt belong to the Mavs, why they are trying to grab him? Melo is not a team chemistry guy..and the Mavs are in a position that doesnt need that type of players.  Chandler? Butler? are they!! the defend, they care about the team..please dont play out that one Cuban, please! Leave Melo to the Knicks or the Hornets... 

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2010 2:00 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

The Mavs need Anthony as much as they need Dampier....let him go to the east where he belongs, with all the other gangsta hoopsters. His attitude is definitely not a fit for this club...

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:48 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

The problem is, even if people say they're tired of reading about it, they still read about it. As long as fans will read it, they will write it. That's just the way it goes. And I'm no Nets fan, but I agree that giving up that many first round picks AND Favors is borderling nuts, and I like Carmelo.

Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:41 pm

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

But it seems Denver wants to get rid of him.  If they can find a home for Melo, and Billups - and end up with some cheap pieces instead - then this team is in great shape.

IF they make a trade with the Nets or Knicks - they will get pick(s) and expiring contracts.  And if they can find a taker for Billups - picks again.  Leaving them with Birdman @4.5, Balkman @1.6, Harrington (who they are trying so hard to include supposively) @ 5.7, Nene @11.3, Lawson @1.3 - and thats it.

They would be left with 36mil under the salary cap this summer assuming they dont include Harrington.  There isnt a ton out there - but enough to build a bottom tier playoff team pretty cheaply.

Since: Jun 1, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2010 10:29 am

Sources: Mavs poised to enter Melo chase

everyday i log on to this site i hear a new destination for Carmelo Anthony and that hes going to the Nets.  YET HES STILL IN DENVER! im tired of reading about this. and for the record, im about to revoke being a Nets fan just because this can be the 2nd dumbest acquisition other than Travis Outlaw.

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