In a move that should surprise nobody who’s been following this saga since the Fall, new reports late last night indicate that talks between the Nets, Nuggets and Pistons are moving further and further away from the goal line and a Carmelo Anthony to Nets trade is in jeopardy.
Perhaps the most curious of the news reports came from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said the Nuggets were apparently so upset with the Nets with leaks about the trade they “threatened” to turn around and trade him to the Knicks. Meanwhile, SI’s Chris Mannix thinks the Houston Rockets may be quietly prepping an offer for ‘Melo.
From my perspective, the problem is this has become a lose-lose proposition. With reports out there that Mikhail Prokhorov apparently wants ‘Melo at any cost, even suggesting he would forgo an extension, the Nuggets have the Nets over a barrel with no leverage. If the Nets end up having to take on a contract like Al Harrington’s, just to make this deal happen, it would be a terrible deal from a cap flexibility perspective, and it would make it increasingly more difficult for the Nets to get Chris Paul in 2012, which I think should be the ultimate end game here. But the Nets have also come too far to watch this deal collapses. With 8 players on the roster rumored to move, this team is surely all but mentally lost right now, and if this talks last until the deadline in mid-February, the toxicity around this organization gets worse and worse.
Then there are the fear mongerers around the legitimate media and blogging community who believe if Anthony ends up as a Knick then Brooklyn “fails.” For one, what is the definition of failure here? Is construction going to stop in Brooklyn and Daniel Goldstein going to get his condo back? Would David Stern, after sticking his neck for Brooklyn, then Prokhorov, going to contract the Nets if they don’t sell out every game for their first five seasons? It’s a paranoid argument being used by those to capitalize on the inferiority complex of a fan base. I, for one, will continue to support this team with or without ‘Melo, New Jersey or Brooklyn. I root for the New Jersey Nets, not the stock price of Forest City Ratner, or Prokhorov’s Onexim.