Around the NBA: 11/15/10

November 15, 2010
Nick Matkovich



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  • Within any group of friends (girls and guys) there is normally someone that dates one guy outside the group, or circle. In this case, let's say it's a girl. The guy she's dating is nice, well-mannered, and can rattle of antiquated quotes from any Will Ferrell movie. You have no problem with this guy. You somewhat enjoy his company, but he's not you.

    You, the lady-killer (in the George Clooney sense) that you are, know you would be a better fit with this girl, you two have known each other for a while.

    Naturally, you start hoping for that couple to break up. Any signs of dissent between the two parties are magnified and analyzed. They were arguing where? Who left in a huff? He said what about her sister the massage therapist?

    You're hoping for failure because the opportunity is there for you. You're an opportunist. In a way, you're also an NBA General Manager.

    Amongst your circle of friends, Carmelo Anthony, at the very least a top-three (Kobe and Durant are one-two, though this particular judge of public opinion has no problem with you placing `Melo number two) talent in the association is reaching that point of a potential ugly breakup with his employer, the Denver Nuggets.

    And your team might be able to land him. Now you're only going after him if you can land a sign-and-trade deal to keep him there long term, but he's such a tantalizing scorer. The ease in which he goes to the basket and his unshakable ability to hit shots anywhere on the floor make him a rare commodity in the league: a thoroughbred of a scorer.

    You could do so much with him. Your team could put him a position to win a few Larry O'Brien's and scoring titles.

    He's yours for the taking, but is he that into you?

    This is your chance, Mr. GM, to go after `Melo, a centerpiece for your franchise. Make the move because you know you can do better by him and you. You'll give him a chance to win, set your organization up for the long-term.

    To his credit, Anthony has not publicly pouted and demanded a trade. No stand-offs or bad-mouthing the management. Loose lips don't exist in Anthony's eventual departure from Denver. Whether it's on account of the seemingly good relationship he has with George Karl or a conscious effort to maintain his relatively positive public persona remains to be seen, but Anthony has been nothing if not exemplary in his actions and words this season.

    Consuming this from the perspective of the Denver Nuggets is a mixed bag. I realize I'm not in the business of selling tickets and keeping a fan base enthused, but for the long-term stability of the Denver Nuggets it would be advantageous of their front office to heed the words of Branch Rickey and trade a player a year too soon rather than a year too late. In this instance we're talking a matter of months, not years, but Nuggets management has to walk a fine line when it comes to handling the Anthony situation.

    If you trade him too soon are you waiving that ugly white flag atop your franchise's headquarters? Such a move is a death sentence this early in the season. The credits scroll across the screen before Christmas? No thanks. Good luck trying to convince fans on the mystifying greatness of draft picks this early in the year. Draft picks don't sell tickets in the here-and-now.

    Wait too long and you're in the precarious position of not getting enough for a top-ten talent. This time frame constitutes the week before the NBA Trade Deadline. The high cards shift to teams who could benefit greatly from Anthony's services, but are already well-immersed in the playoff race. They don't have to give up as much as they might a few weeks prior. Your franchise may have a star's expiring contract ticking like a time bomb on your payroll. All kinds of considerations.

    I wish I could tell you that opportune time to make such a move for Anthony, but no such time or date exists. Other teams need to have that right musk of desperation and bravado. The two typically intertwine so it's not that difficult to sniff out. Prey on a general manager's desire to win now and raise the ante. Ask for whoever you can. They offer two first round picks? Ask for three. They're willing to part with only one second-year player? Request a second talent with an expiring contract.

    Stay cognizant of how Toronto proceeded last year. They held on to Chris Bosh in hopes of earning the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors failed to make the playoffs. Bosh left for Miami. All that was left of his tenure in Toronto was a hokey YouTube video opining for a spot on the Eastern Conference All Star Team.

    The courtship of Anthony has already begun. Who ends up with the scorer remains to be seen. The wooing begins.

    Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.