Guest Blogger: The Alternatives to Carmelo

As a way to giving thanks to you, the readers, we’re going to run this article by one of our loyal readers, Andres Torres, about some possible alternatives for Carmelo Anthony if the Nets are indeed looking to upgrade their offense:

After 14 games, one the biggest stories surrounding the Nets is about a player who has never even worn a Nets’ uniform. It seems as if every day is a new round of “will he” or “won’t he rumors.” After the Nets played at Denver Saturday night, the speculation reached new levels. Leading up to the game, every day there was a new story, a new clue, as to what Carmelo was thinking and to what Nets management was planning. The game itself was almost an afterthought. (The Nets lost by 4 pts. by the way…) It seems everybody is firmly entrenched in one of two camps. There are the people who are all for the Carmelo trade which is rumored to have the Nets giving up Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, draft picks and Kris Humphries. Others do not want to give up Favors pointing to his potential to be a very special player. Before the season started I was all for the Carmelo trade, I thought the price was a little steep but it was needed if the Nets wanted to be taken serious sooner rather than later. I even wrote a little piece about it.

Now, the Nets have managed to change my mind. I know it’s a small sample but the Nets look to have the start of something special here. Devin Harris looks like he’s out to prove that he’s an all-star point guard. Brook Lopez has been a little soft this year but he’s still averaging 17 pts., 6 rebounds, almost 2 blocks a game and he’s still only 22 years old. Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow are apparently alternating 20 point games and have improved the Nets FG %. Humphries has been a wonderful surprise filling in for an injured Murphy. He’s grabbing rebounds and makes high percentage shots as if they are going out of business. Jordan Farmar is proving more than capable as a back up to Harris and has been so valuable that at times Avery has both Farmar and Harris in the game at the same time. Finally Favors the key to the Carmelo Saga has been surprisingly good this early in the season. In the limited minutes he gets he’s been grabbing rebounds and dunking on everybody in his way. In Saturday’s game which was his “showcase” game against the Nuggets he scored 14 pts. and grabbed 8 rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Most important of all, Avery has taken firm command over this team and has them going in the right direction, never giving up and playing defense to the last possession.

Their one glaring weakness’ is the lack of that reliable scorer, that one player who stops scoring draughts, the one who is driving to the basket on the last possession of a game, that one player that they can always count on. Now of course those in the Carmelo camp are going say that Anthony will be perfect for that role. And you know what? They are right, he would be perfect. He’s one of the best scorers in the league he gets to the line about 7 times a game he is exactly what the Nets need. The problem is he’s not. No, I’m not Bi-Polar; the problem with acquiring Carmelo is that the Nets would have to give up too much to get him. There has got to be another way, another player that could help the Nets. So I did a little research and I came up with 2 players that could help the Nets in these situations. Two players that would help the Nets and they wouldn’t have to give up the farm to get them.

The first player is on a team that was supposed to be in contention but is now 3 and 10. Which ties them for the second worst record in the league. He is currently averaging 23.8 pts. a game and is getting to the line a crazy 9.2 times a game. He is none other than Kevin Martin of the Rockets. With Yao Ming a shadow of his former self and the team looking like it’s going nowhere fast, maybe they will want to save that $10.2 million they would have to pay Martin. Would a trade of Terrence Williams, Murphy and draft pick get the job done? I think so. They get a good young talent back in T-Will, a valuable draft pick and Murphy’s expiring contract. Is he as good as Carmelo? No not at all but he is big step in the right direction, this trade would instantly make the Nets a Playoff team and with a year of seasoning and maybe adding bit parts here and there I can see them contending for a title within Prokhorov’s five-year window.

Player number Two, would be a little more of a gamble, but the reward would be tremendous. This player is on a team that is rebuilding but already has a young star to replace him. They have gone through a lot of negative publicity because of him and would gladly get rid of him.  If you haven’t guessed it, I’m talking about Agent 0, Gilbert Arenas. If Gilbert is healthy and motivated he can go back to where he was before his injury when he was averaging 28.4 pts. and 9.7 FTA per game. Remember, he is still only 28 years old. He may not return to those lofty numbers but maybe he can come close to them. He would also cost almost nothing in a trade considering the wizards want to get rid of him. (Murphy, Damion James and Ross could work) The only two negatives I see in this trade are Gilberts Massive contract and his health, but the potential would be phenomenal. Anybody who remembers those playoff wars between the wizards and the Cavs, when Lebron and Gilbert when at it, will testify to how good Arenas can be.

Neither of these players may be the answer, but at least in these cases the Nets wouldn’t have to give up their future to get them and they would still have some other pieces to make more trades. Does anybody have Billy King’s number?