Carmelo to NJ Deal Breakdown

by

DEEEEEEEZ!

There are reports of a four-way deal to move Denver’s dissatisfied All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, to the New Jersey Nets circulating this weekend. The deal involves the Nuggets and Nets as well as the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Jordans. The complex player swap allegedly breaks down as follows:

Denver gives up: F – Carmelo Anthony
Denver receives: F – Derrick Favors, F – Andrei Kirilenko, and 2 future first round draft picks

New Jersey gives up: F – Derrick Favors, G – Devin Harris, F – Jarvis Hayes, G/F – Quinton Ross and a future first round draft pick
New Jersey receives: F – Carmelo Anthony, G – DJ Augustine

Utah gives up: F – Andrei Kirilenko
Utah receives: F/C – Boris Diaw, G/F – Quinton Ross

Charlotte gives up: F/C – Boris Diaw, G – DJ Augustine
Charlotte receives: G – Devin Harris, F – Jarvis Hayes

Rumor has it that the current hold-up is Denver re-evaluating its interest in the deal. Basically from their perspective it breaks down to how good they project Favors to become, and not so much an issue of if they are really ready to give up on this season. Honestly it’s hard to believe they would be able to surpass the defending champion Lakers even if they could keep Carmelo throughout a drama free season and miraculously find themselves entirely healthy come playoff time. If the deal went through, the Nuggets would likely start Billups, Afflalo, Kirilenko, Harrington, and Nene and bring Favors off the bench with Lawson and Smith. Really it’s a pretty solid team. AK replaces Martin as the starting defensive forward and Harrington replaces Anthony as the starting offensive forward. They would obviously need more team scoring and team rebounding to replace what’s lost with the (hypothetical) departure of Melo and (real) injury to KMart, but it’s not a bad team, and the depth is superior to last year once everyone does get healthy. The one draft pick is coming from Golden State by way of New Jersey and is protected through pick #7. I’m not sure what team is supposed to supply the other pick at this point.

It’s a very interesting deal for New Jersey. Carmelo would be the best Net since Kidd was still in his prime. However, the earlier trade of Courtney Lee for Trevor Ariza means that either Trevor is going to have to start out of position at the 2 spot where his defense is satisfactory but his ball-handling is suspect, or he’ll move to the bench behind Terrance Williams. New Jersey also picked up long-time Trailblazers reserve Travis Outlaw who primarily plays as a small forward, so overall they would need to make further moves or play two of the Melo, Ariza, Outlaw triumvirate out of position in order to get value out of all three. Moving Harris might seem like a big loss, but the signing of Farmar and acquisition of Augustine should plug the point guard gap pretty well. Brooks and Murphy project as pretty good offensive compliments to Anthony, though his defensive liabilities may be too much for those two to plug.

Short-term I really don’t like the AK / Diaw swap for Utah. Diaw is a great passer and creative, multifaceted offensive player in general. He’s also a solid one on one defender at both big man positions. However, to play next to Big Al, a great shot-blocker / help defender would be preferable, and that’s Kirilenko. AK is also a great passer and more mobile player. Both are capable but not necessarily dead-eye outside shooters. Sloan might destroy the confidence of the oft-out-of-shape Diaw as well. Ross is a nice perimeter defender with limited offense.

I like the deal for Charlotte. Devin Harris would be a nice upgrade over Augustine and give them a great pressure defender in the Larry Brown mold. Diaw’s inconsistent play has got to be a frustration as well. The team played its best ball with him on the floor, but they never knew what they were going to get out of him and never quite got the aggressiveness out of him that the team needed. A perimeter trio of Harris, Jackson, and Wallace is very big, strong, athletic, and talented. Throw in Ty Thomas, and their team speed is one of the best in the league. Of course with Brown out with a sprained ankle, they also project to start very small without Diaw. Hayes is a sharpshooter who could back-up Wallace or play next to him when Gerald moves to the power forward spot.

Personally I’d be happy to see a deal like this happen just because I’m such a big fan of Melo’s offense that to get to watch his every game on the YES Network would be great. I’m not sure how good the team would be because of the logjam at the small forward and lack of depth at the shooting guard and the power spots, but it sounds like a playoff team, and it would sure be a lot more fun to watch than last year’s squad was or this year’s current group projects to be.

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