Where Does Nene Fit Best?

After an off-season that featured the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and many others as top free agents and a regular season that featured mid-season trades involving Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, entering into the 2011 free agency period with Nene as the top name on the unrestricted [...]

Re-Signing Nene Should Be Denver’s #1 Priority

After making a very strong second half push after trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, the Denver Nuggets fell short of making a deep post-season run when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. With Carmelo gone the Nuggets best player [...]

Nuggets Continue Post-Trade Surge With Win Over The Spurs

Since trading superstar Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets are 11-4.

The Nuggets have experienced a monumental stylistic change in their style of play, moving the ball more than ever in favor of Anthony isolations and their team chemistry has grown remarkably since Melo and his drama were shipped out of town in exchange for [...]

New York Knicks Acquire Carmelo Anthony But Nuggets Steal The Deal

Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick. After months of speculation and rumors, it feels good to finally say it officially. Here is the deal that has been reported by Yahoo! Sports and the Denver Post:

Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman are headed to New York for Danilo [...]

Taking A Look At The Other Nuggets That Could Go Once Melo Is Dealt

The feeling around Los Angeles during All-Star Weekend has been one of anticipation. Multiple General Managers across the league are eagerly awaiting the Denver Nuggets to make a decision regarding Carmelo Anthony so that they can go about making their own moves.

Whether these opposing GMs are waiting on the Nuggets because they want to make sure Denver is going to sell before they ask for one of their other players or because they want to know if they need to make a move themselves to keep up with Denver, there is clearly a lot riding on the Anthony situation that goes beyond just the two teams involved in the deal.

For most teams, Melo getting dealt means they get an opportunity to pick at the post-Melo roster Denver will have. The Nuggets have a few very attractive pieces that any contender would do well to add but if the Nuggets end up keeping Anthony – extension or not – Denver is not going to part with any of the complementary pieces in hopes of making a post-season run to keep the fanbase interested and to potentially coax Carmelo into staying.

If the Nuggets do end up dealing Carmelo before the impending deadline, here are the most appealing Nuggets that other teams around the league should be in hot pursuit of.

Hit the jump for the four most appealing Nuggets that Denver should look to deal after shipping Melo…
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Report: Nets Back In The Melo Hunt

After their owner publicly took his team out of the Carmelo Anthony rumor mill just a month ago, the New Jersey Nets are once again talking to the Denver Nuggets about acquiring the all-star small forward, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

It isn’t likely that the Nets are going to up their [...]

Billups May Be Involved In Melo Swap

The missing link in a potential deal involving Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks may be the each team’s respective point guards. The Nuggets are reportedly interested in obtaining Knicks’ point guard Raymond Felton in return for Carmelo, which is a wrinkle that hasn’t been previously discussed. The rumor was first reported by [...]

Carmelo, Lakers Not A Match

Just days after I floated the idea of the Lakers trading Andrew Bynum to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony in my column about the Lakers’ trade possibilities, a Bynum-Melo rumor was actually reported by ESPN. The report states that the Nuggets and Lakers have had initial conversations regarding a swap that would revolve around Carmelo and Bynum but that no deal has been put into place at this moment. For all of those of you that think this deal would be beneficial for the Lakers, lets set things straight: Carmelo Anthony would be a horrible fit for the Lakers.

First, lets take a look at what I said in my column about Bynum:

This scenario is the least likely of all of these, but its the one that most casual fans are calling for. Carmelo Anthony has been linked to a number of teams this season and with the Lakers’ fans in panic mode and their GM talking about trades, it seems logical to throw out a “Carmelo to the Lakers” idea. This deal could be a simple two-for-two swap, star for star and bad contract for bad contract. Carmelo and Al Harrington for Bynum and Artest. The Nuggets get themselves a new player to center their franchise around and create on of the best big men duo’s in the league in Bynum and Nene.

This doesn’t make quite as much sense for the Lakers, though. Carmelo is a high volume scorer that needs 20 shots to score 25 points on most nights, which makes him similar to Kobe in a way. That’s not what the Lakers need. They don’t need another volume scorer that gets his points by doing the same things (mostly mid-range jumpers). Iguodala is a great fit because he would be willing to change his role to defensive stopper, transition highlight reel and occasional spot-up shooter. Anthony would likely only create problems for the Lakers, who are being criticized already for relying on Bryant isolations too often instead of triangle-based offensive sets. Thus, adding Anthony, who has been involved in 393 isolation plays this season, the second most in the league (behind Amare and in front of Kobe), would be a bad fit for the Lakers offense.

While Melo to the Lakers is a big story and though Lala might enjoy her new digs in Los Angeles, this trade doesn’t make sense for the Lakers, and the Nuggets may be able to get a little more than just Bynum elsewhere.

Digging in deeper to the numbers, Carmelo Anthony takes the most mid-range jumpers per game in the league (6.5 per contest) than any other player in the league, which means he is taking the worst shots possible more frequently than anyone else. Anthony takes almost all of those shots off the dribble, which is another problem. For a player like Dirk Nowizki, taking 6.1 16-23 foot shots per game isn’t a problem not only because he’s the best mid-range shooter perhaps ever, but also because 80% of his makes come off of an assist. Only 40% of Anthony’s long two point jumpers are the result of a pass, making his shot selection even more questionable.

More on why Carmelo would be a bad fit for the Lakers after the break…

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Carmelo’s 50 Not Enough To Defeat Rockets And Other NBA Notes

As the trade deadline nears, Carmelo Anthony is about to re-enter the spotlight of the NBA. After spending a couple weeks at the center of attention earlier in the year because of trade rumors that eventually died down, the Nuggets will likely be shopping Anthony around more than ever as the possibility that the franchise will end up with nothing in exchange for Melo at the end of the season grows larger.

But while there may be much less of a chance that Carmelo ends up staying in Denver for the remainder of the season, it’s time to start looking at the Nuggets as they are currently constructed to determine whether or not this will just be a lost cause for both Anthony and the Nuggets if they end up sticking together until the end of the year.

Denver is currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference with the same record as the Utah Jazz (30-22) but with a superior head-to-head record. This a team that beat the Heat by 28 earlier in the season (though they were without LeBron James, that’s still impressive) but also a club that got smashed by the Clippers and recently lost back-to-back games to the 76ers and Nets by the scores of 110-99 and 115-99.

Whether the Anthony drama has this team disinterested or in spite of their teammate, there is clearly something missing from this team that it had over the past two seasons when they were legitimate contenders to take down the Lakers in the West thanks to their uptempo offense and reliable home court advantage. But instead, ever since Carmelo was left to fend for himself against Utah in the post-season last year, Anthony has started to slip away from his supporting cast and the mojo around this squad is clearly no longer there – at least not consistently.

For my recap of last night’s Rockets-Nuggets game as well as every other game in the NBA last night, hit the break…

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Can The Lakers Pull Off A Blockbuster For Bynum?

Last season, around this time, there were rumblings that the Los Angeles Lakers were attempting to deal for Chris Bosh. The key to the deal would be center Andrew Bynum had any trade gone through but after a week or two of speculation (but no actual evidence from the Lakers that they were interested in Bosh), the rumors died and Bosh ended up going to Miami in the off-season. While there was never any confirmation that the Lakers were willing to deal Bynum in a deal for Bosh from the team, it was widely believed that he was on the market.

With the Lakers going through a bit of a rough patch right now (which isn’t saying much, for the defending champs in February, but still), trade rumors are starting to come up again. General Manager Mitch Kupchak mentioned last week that if he felt a trade needed to be made, that he would pull the trigger and ESPN’s Marc Stein reported today that Lakers’ forward Ron Artest is actually rooting to be traded by the defending world champions.

Clearly, Artest is not someone that teams will be calling the Lakers about, rather, if Los Angeles is going to deal him, they will be the ones having to sell Artest’s potential contributions across the league. But if Kupchak is serious about making an in-season deal with more than just a financial impact (like the Sasha Vujacic-Joe Smith swap), he does have one piece that every team in the league should be at least somewhat interested in.

If Andrew Bynum was on a team that wasn’t loaded like the Lakers and if he had avoided injuries to this point in his career, there’s no doubt in my mind that we are talking about Bynum as one of the best if not the best center in the league along with Dwight Howard. Offensively, he’s extremely talented with a bevy of moves in the post and the strength of an ox that allows him to back down almost any post defender that has the tall order of guarding his backside. On defense, we have seen just how valuable Bynum can be this season as the Lakers have been a much better defensive team when Drew is guarding the weakside.

Despite the lengthy list of injuries Bynum has suffered at such a young age, he is still just 23 years old, and as the top big man on a team with good role players and a star on the wing, he can be one of the most effective players in the entire league. Thus, almost any ballclub that isn’t already in the title chase would do well to acquire such a promising young big man.

Hit the jump to see the players I think the Lakers should target in a deal involving Bynum…

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