The Pistons appear to be on the verge of completing the megatrade that will land Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton, among others, in New Jersey.
Adrian Wojnaroski reports:
The Nets are close to completing the component of the trade that exchange Troy Murphy for Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton, sources said. The teams are still negotiating whether Nets center Johan Petro, who has two years and $6.75 million left on his contract after this season, will be included, but that isn’t expected to unravel the overall deal. The Pistons are too motivated to unload the remaining two years and $25 million on Hamilton’s contract for Murphy’s $12 million expiring deal.
And, as if Pistons fans weren’t already gobsmacked enough, he adds this:
One front-office executive said Anthony is “on board” with signing a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets – provided New Jersey completes the Detroit part of the deal.
“He wants to play with Rip,” the source said.
One of the myriad possible derailments to this ginormous deal is that Billups’ camp has let it be known that he would request a buyout if sent from his hometown Nuggets to the Nets. While it seems odd that Billups would rather play for a rebuilding Nuggets squad as opposed to a hypothetically “competitive” Nets team, it might have all about gaining leverage.
Bolstering that theory, Spears reports that Billups would be more amenable to going to New Jersey if his $14.2 million option was picked up. If not, the Nets could pay a $3.7 million buyout after the season.
While it was first reported that the deal was dead because of the Nets’ insistence on Detroit taking back Johan Petro’s $7 million contract and N.J. wanting back Detroit’s first-round pick, likely to be in the top 10, it no longer appears that the Nets are requiring the pick and are also looking for someone else to take on Petro.
Wojnorowki tweeted the following: “Nets no longer asking for Detroit 1st rounder and searching for another team to unload Petro on, sources say. Pistons want Murphy for Rip.”