Take it for what it's worth, but the Wizards recently made an obligatory call to the Denver Nuggets to check on the availability of all-star forward Carmelo Anthony, a league source said on Friday. The source added that the Wizards were simply doing their due diligence and that the same phone call was made by "29 teams. Carmelo is pretty good."
Hmm. Me in a Wizards uniform? (Getty Images)
Multiple Internet reports have made it clear that Anthony is looking to move elsewhere. Anthony will earn $17 million in the final year of his deal, but has stalled all summer to sign a $65 million extension with the Nuggets, the only team for which he has played since going third in the 2003 draft.
The likelihood of Anthony returning to play professionally near his home town of Baltimore is on the shady side of slim. Denver has told league executives that it is seeking a package of expiring contracts, future draft picks and young prospects in any deal for its franchise cornerstone.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday that Anthony made it clear to owner-in-waiting Josh Kroenke that he wants to leave during a meeting last weekend in Baltimore. The New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as the two most probable destinations, with Anthony's wife, LaLa Vasquez, a former MTV personality, seeking to find a better location to pursue her entertainment career. Yahoo! Sports also mentioned Golden State, Houston and Charlotte as possibilities.
The Wizards have no plans of trading No. 1 overall pick John Wall and no large expiring contracts of note, while the Nuggets have no interest in taking back bad contracts, which rules out shipping Gilbert Arenas and the four years and $80 million left on his deal. If the Wizards were to assemble an attractive package of young players -- excluding Wall -- there likely wouldn't be a team with enough remaining talent to encourage Anthony to sign an extension in Washington.
"I really don't think they know what they are going to do yet," the source said of the Nuggets.
Masai Ujiri was introduced as the Nuggets' executive vice president of basketball operations on Friday and told the Denver Post that he does not want to trade Anthony and would like to meet with him. "I love Melo," Ujiri told the newspaper. "Carmelo is the Denver Nuggets, he's the city of Denver, he's done so well on this team. So we're going to deal with the issue full force."
Ujiri, a former member of the Nuggets scouting department who recently worked for the Toronto Raptors, added that he intends on keeping Anthony in Denver for years to come. "He's a superstar in the league, and that's our priority. We want to keep Melo. We love Melo. That's all I can say."
The Wizards are in the midst of rebuilding around Wall, which kept them from entering the free agency frenzy for LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and others this summer. But while Anthony is an established superstar, he is relatively young at age 26. The three-time all-star is one of the more prolific scorers in the league, with a career average of 24.7 points.
The Nuggets have been in disarray this offseason with the organization deciding not to renew the contracts of vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentein and vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman earlier this month. David Griffin, their first choice take over as general manager, declined the job in a dispute over money. Coach George Karl is also recovering from cancer. And, after getting approval to purchase the St. Louis Rams this week, owner Stan Kroenke was forced to hand over the Nuggets and the NHL's Avalanche to his 30-year-old son, Josh.
Speculation that Anthony wanted out of Denver began to swirl shortly after Chris Paul reportedly made a toast during Anthony's wedding last July about forming a super team with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire with the New York Knicks. Anthony has done little since then to quash the momentum of his possible departure.
I don't think it would be worth it for the Wizards. The Nuggets are not interested in Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards would probably have to trade Blatche, McGee, next year's 1st-round pick, and maybe a little more. The asking price is too much. Carmelo is a great player and is still young at only 26-years-old, but the Wizards shouldn't give up that much talent for a person that might only stay for 1 year. This team is trying to rebuild and I think that they should stay on course with their rebuilding.
I hate this so much. I used to get mad when 2k would ruin my franchise and let the computer make crazy/unrealistic trades, but little did i know.....
I feel like were gonna have to give up Mcgee and/or blatche if this goes down so Id say no and just wait till the summer to sign him
Lolz, yeah right blatche and McGee, whoever they are, would be gone in a second. This is Melo. It's probably not happening but if the Wizards could make it happen, they would...no matter what.
What makes you think that the Wizards would go after Carmelo Anthony if they didn't go after LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and the other big-name free agents and they enough money to do so. New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has clearly stated that this team is in rebuilding mode and that he would not sign any big-name free agents.
I have no problem with getting Carmelo. I would love to get Carmelo, but like WizKid said, I would rather wait until 2011 free agency then to trade for him. They would have to probably give up some young talent and a 1st-round draft pick, which is too much to give up for a team that is trying to rebuild.
Considering what the Wizards would have to give up to get him, I don't see how that would be an attractive destination for Carmelo. McGee is vital to that team's success, and I'm sure Melo isn't dying to play with Gilbert Arenas.
McGee or Blatche with Young packaged in would be part of the deal IMO with a 3rd team possibly.
Take your pick;
Arenas supposedly is looking good so I'm not sure if they're still willing to trade him. McGee is off limits, that I'm almost sure off. Josh Howard is a great player and makes practically nothing this year so trading him away would be dumb. Al Thornton has shown promise and should be kept if possible. Young has made little progress in the 3 years he's in the league now and could be the odd man out with so much dept at the 1, 2 & 3 this year. Yi Jianlian, the man with the eternal youth, is still only 22 years old and can play like an all-star one minute and like a bum the next.
Washington doesn't have enough pieces to get Melo IMO