After being so near completion Sunday night, many are wondering if the Carmelo trade is on life support. Indeed the Sporting News is reporting that the deal is in a “holding pattern,” NBA Fanhouse spoke to Anthony who said “it could go to the trade deadline,” which is Feb. 24, and ESPN’s Henry Abbott is theorizing that there will not be a trade until much closer to the deadline.
Sorry, but I don’t buy it.
Yes, in a vacuum it makes sense for the Nuggets to wait things out, probe for all possible deals and only say yes to the trade as close to the deadline as possible. But we’re not dealing with abstract ideas of the best strategy for the team to implement. We’re dealing with human beings and a lot of external factors putting pressure on the players and organizations, which make it much more likely this deal gets done closer to a week from now than a month from now.
You’ve already seen some of the fallout, players such as Troy Murphy and Chauncey Billups sat out their teams’ practices with diagnoses of “sick” and “headache,” respectively. The Nets are keeping the gaggle of players involved in the alleged trade, about half their roster, away from the media. And they won’t be able to do that forever. Sooner or later the team will have to let the media pound them with uncomfortable questions that they won’t have to answer.
And in Denver Carmelo Anthony was booed at home, he’s struggling and the team is losing. As much as the executives want to make the best deal possible, they also want to put an end to the circus and give fans and the organization a chance to move on.
And as the Nuggets front office waffles, stalls and changes the deal, it makes it that much less likely that other organizations will get involved in the Melo sweepstakes. If they mess up another blockbuster, multi-team trade as they did with a perspective deal between themselves, New Jersey, Utah and Charlotte just prior to the season, they might not find anyone giving them near the value of a Derrick Favors, Anthony Marrow and multiple first-round picks.
Finally, if the management team behind Antony, Leon Rose and CAA, was not sweating the need to get their client onto a team that he would be amenable to signing an extension with then this proposed trade would never have made it this far in the first place.
These teams are going to have media, fans, players and agents in there ear every hour of every day asking for them to end the sideshow and wrap up the deal. And I think they will eventually give in and we can move on to speculating about all new trade ideas.