ESPN‘s own Ric Bucher reporting last night that Carmelo Anthony is expected to leave the Denver Nuggets. In his story, Bucher tells one of the more awkward wedding toast tales I can remember, involving Chris Paul and Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke. You have to read it to believe it. Anyways, here is the meat and potatoes of it if you have not seen it:
“League sources say it is now a matter of when, not if, Anthony and the Nuggets will go their separate ways.
Anthony could sign with Denver and convince the team to then trade him. His other option would be to not sign the extension, thereby forcing the team to move him rather than risk losing him next summer as a free agent.”
Anthony has had a three-year, $65 million contract extension from the Nuggets on the table since June. Reports came out in early July that he was going to sign it, and then those went away quickly. Generally speaking, if a contract offer is on the table for months the players might not sign it. Can you blame Melo for wanting to potentially form a superpower of his own? If he has the chance to team up with Amare Stoudemire (and then) potentially Chris Paul, you’d think he would take it. This Nuggets run is almost at its peak and I think Melo is beginning to realize it.
This has the potential to be really good news for Blazer fans. Why? Denver has won back to back Northwest Division crowns, that’s why. To really make some noise in the post-season, Portland is going to have to get home court advantage some day. A division crown guarantees that in at least the first round and possibly beyond.
There is a reason I said this only has the potential to be really good news. For one, Anthony could change his mind and sign it and Denver can still re-build around him. Secondly, the Nuggets could pull of a masterful trade, giving up Anthony and somehow re-stocking themselves. That’s actually more my nightmare than anything. Here’s what I say the Blazers should do: when Denver comes to town, play Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’ to reinforce that he needs to go to New York….or New Jersey. Or maybe we can go Inception on him. But get out of the Western Conference.