We know now that Carmelo Anthony clearly only wants to play with two other teams outside of the Denver Nuggets, but that hasn’t stopped me from conjuring up other interesting scenarios that would make for good fits for him, unlikely as they may be (by way of ESPN’s Trade Machine).
The ESPN Trade Machine had some glitches when I was constructing this, and therefore I couldn’t get a finalization page for this trade (even though there were no restrictions), but…
Carmelo Anthony goes to the Portland Trail Blazers; Brandon Roy goes to the Denver Nuggets
WHY IT WORKS
Melo in Portland would do quite a few things:
1) He would be able to give the Trail Blazers a for-sure high scoring threat that still has room for improvement.
2) His arrival and Brandon Roy’s absence would allow for Wesley Matthews, Rudy Fernandez or Nicolas Batum compete as the team’s No. 1 shooting guard.
3) No. 15 is very durable and can be counted on fully to be an offensive presence with few concerns about injury.
As for the Nuggets, Roy going to Denver would ensure that the team could keep him to build around, and Chauncey Billups would likely still be happy. Also, considering that both players are virtually point guards with shooting guard skills, it would allow for a more harmonic union with little in the way of mini-controversy about who likely would have the ball (Roy often has quietly griped and conveyed discontent when certain Blazer point guards were primary ballhandlers for long periods — Billups is clearly an elder statesman and in the unlikelihood that B. Roy would be upset, he’d still defer to the former NBA Finals MVP). Roy is also not one to seek trades, so his stay in Denver would also be a stable relationship. Would B. Roy be one to lead the team to a championship? It’s possible–with good health and continued commitment to excellence from the Nuggets, No. 7’s ability to make a team better can’t be discounted, but such a trade would be good for both Denver and Roy alike.
Anthony goes to the Sacramento Kings; Samuel Dalembert, Donte’ Greene and Jason Thompson go to the Nuggets
WHY IT WORKS
Anthony being a King would present Sacramento with the gift of having a formidable foundation on which to firmly base the franchise. In Melo being paired with guard Tyreke Evans, forwards Omri Casspi and Carl Landry, and promising forward/center DeMarcus Cousins, the team would be a certain power in the Western Conference in a similitude to the Oklahoma City Thunder (or rich man’s Portland Trail Blazers). No. 15 would have rising stars around him to likely bring his best forward to win some big games and possibly help him truly compete for a championship — and the revolving door at small forward would finally close.
Denver would get a mix of salary cap relief and intriguing prospects that could enable the team to look into further deals, while also allowing for key development with great size. The Nuggets have been hurt in the past with various injuries and diseases afflicting their big men, but having Samuel Dalembert and Jason Thompson to pair with Nene would be a very good rotation of defense, offense and youth. Greene is still a project, but with great height and perimeter skills, his versatility would be a valued presence on-court for the Nuggets. Essentially, Denver would move back in the win column, but would free themselves up to make some other moves to help move forward, since the current roster has gone as far as they can really go with Melo.
Anthony and Renaldo Balkman go to the Dallas Mavericks; Caron Butler and Shawn Marion (and a protected first-round pick) go to the Nuggets
WHY IT WORKS
Melo to the Dallas Mavericks could very well be the move that would put Dallas atop the Western Conference, in competition with the Los Angeles Lakers. All who have watched the Mavs for the past 10 seasons can attest to the team’s frequent success and seasons’ end failings and most of the falls have been at the hands of teams that have been simply better. Though Dirk Nowitzki has had a stable of support, he’s never had the right player to compliment his specific needs on the team, and with his style of play, he’s needed another alpha-dog star to share the wealth of winning — not a B-grade star or sidekick. Anthony being a “sho’ nuff” elite player who can draw frequent attention from the defense would be immense for Nowitzki and the Mavericks, and both players’ versatility would bring forth an element of seemingly limitless punishment on other teams. Renaldo Balkman would bring the defensive versatility and hustle that former Mav Josh Howard and faux-departed Shawn Marion have brought to the team.
As for Denver, Caron Butler and The Matrix would be a paired consolation prize in exchange for Mr. Melo. Beyond a cheaper financial obligation to the pair, the Nuggets would still be able to jockey for a good playoff position (though with a roster that would likely be first round feed for a more powerful team). Getting two former All-Star wings who can still contribute good minutes on both sides of the ball (and maybe cash considerations?) would put the Nuggets in a better position to even out the roster and be competitive on and off the court.