I'm not so sure Carmelo Anthony is looking forward to joining the New Jersey Nets, because his reluctance to sign a contract extension appears to be the only thing holding up a potential trade.
Many league sources have confirmed a proposed four-team deal is close to completion, and even though there are numerous players involved, the principal players seem to be Anthony and Nets' rookie forward Derrick Favors.
The Nuggets would receive Favors in exchange for Anthony, and the Nets would also lose point guard Devin Harris to the Charlotte Bobcats.
If I were Anthony, I would probably be hesitant to sign as well, because this can't be the way he envisioned the scenario playing out when he let the Nuggets know that he would not be signing a long-term contract.
Most observers assumed Denver would attempt to work out a trade that sent Anthony to a team of his choice, but few people expected the Nuggets to exact a measure of revenge while seeking out deals.
Anthony's main choices appeared to be New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, and any one of those teams would hold better prospects than the swamps of New Jersey.
It's a cruel and ironic twist of fate for Anthony, who possibly harbored dreams of competing with the Miami's Heat's superteam, but he now faces a potential banishment to New Jersey.
The Nuggets must be laughing on the inside.
Denver made it no secret that they were disappointed in Anthony's decision not to return to Colorado, but forcing him to the Nets in exchange for a rookie like Favors is not a bad consolation prize.
It was highly unlikely Denver would ever win a championship with Anthony anyway, but instead of losing his services for nothing, the Nuggets essentially will receive a lottery pick in Favors.
Anthony is the big loser in this deal because if he ever hopes to win a NBA championship, it's hard to imagine him doing it as a Net.
A trade to New York would have paired Anthony with another star in Amar'e Stoudemire and set the stage for the Knicks to compete with Miami for conference supremacy in the future. A deal to Chicago would have enabled Anthony to jump into league contention as soon as next season.
Of all the possible scenarios, New Jersey has to be the worst.
The Nets have some decent talent in players like Brook Lopez and Terrence Williams, but they are hardly a borderline postseason team, and as good as Anthony is, he doesn't increase their chances much.
Anthony is a great scorer but like fellow columnist Tom Smith said in a recent article, it's hard to see him as an elite talent who is capable of leading a team to the NBA's promised land.
The Nuggets were among the Western Conference's most talented teams the past three seasons but they could never manage to get to the NBA Finals, although they did come close on one occasion.
For the most part, Anthony performed admirably for the Nuggets in the postseason, but he never showed any real type of leadership abilities as the main guy for the veteran Nuggets, so why expect anything different with the much younger Nets?
Of course all the blame for the Nuggets' postseason failures can't be laid at Anthony's feet because there was plenty of blame to go around, but as the team's superstar, Anthony still shoulders the burden of responsibility.
Maybe this is part of the Nets master plan to lure Chris Paul to join Anthony before the team moves to Brooklyn, New York, but it sure feels like a final parting blow from Denver's management.
If the Nets are unable to sign another superstar talent to play alongside Anthony, is he doomed to a future of obscurity and anguish as a Net?
New Jersey would likely be a factor in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but does anyone see a chance in hell of them beating a team like Miami, Boston, Orlando, or Chicago in the postseason?
The Nets with Anthony would still have to battle their way into the postseason, and a string of losses in the first round would likely follow.
There is no way to know for sure if the Nuggets are seeking a trade with New Jersey simply out of spite, but if that is the case, Anthony is on the verge of learning a hard lesson.
The Miami Heat's unprecedented move this summer seemed to shift the bargaining power from the team to the player, but Denver may be illustrating where the real strength lies.
There has been plenty of speculation the past few weeks as to where Anthony would eventually end up, but few people could have realized that the decision was really not in his hands.
Source: Hadarii Jones, bleacher report