The Case For Carmelo Anthony To The Wizards

By now you’ve probably heard that Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver. This news is according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher…

All signs continue to point toward the eventual divorce between Carmelo Anthony and theDenver Nuggets.

League sources say it is now a matter of when, not if, Anthony and the Nuggets will go their separate ways.

Anthony is weighing whether to sign a three-year, $65 million extension offered by the Nuggets. His dilemma, league sources say, is what affords him the best chance of continuing his career elsewhere. Anthony could sign with Denver and convince the team to then trade him. His other option would be to not sign the extension, thereby forcing the team to move him rather than risk losing him next summer as a free agent.

During his annual basketball camp in Colorado on Saturday, Anthony said he had no timetable on when he’ll decide whether to sign the extension.

In either case, “he’s going to make it real clear that he’s not coming back,” said one league source.

Of course, ESPN also recently reported that Brett Favre was definitely retiring, and we saw how that turned out. Still, ‘Melo hasn’t flat out denied any reports, only saying…

“Funny how people come up with there own analysis of a situation. I tell you boy……. Unbelievable”–Via Twitter

So let’s pretend for a minute that Bucher’s report is, in fact, accurate. Where does Anthony want to go?

Common knowledge says New York. As Bucher pointed out on SportsCenter, ‘Melo loves the East Coast, his wife likes the area, and Anthony also wants to take down Miami’s Dream Team.

But without Chris Paul, what makes the Knicks so attractive? Sure, Paul might end up changing his mind down the line, but for now, he’s no longer trade bait. He’s stuck in New Orleans.

So does Carmelo think an Amare Stoudemire/’Melo combo is good enough to take down the Heat? Because I’ll tell you right now, it’s not. In fact, that combo isn’t any better than what Carmelo has with Chauncey Billups and Nene in Denver.

And that brings me to my next point–why not consider the Wizards?

Seriously, why not? If next offseason rolls around and Carmelo is an unrestricted free agent, it would certainly be worth Washington’s time to pursue him. Anthony is only 26 years old, and next summer, the Wizards will have plenty of cap room with Josh Howard, Hilton Armstrong, Yi Jianlian, possibly Al Thornton and Nick Young coming off the books.

But why would ‘Melo consider the Wizards? A few reasons:

  1. Carmelo grew up in Baltimore. He attended high school in Baltimore, and played AAU ball in Baltimore. He has firm roots in the area.
  2. Most teams splurged their cap room this offseason. There are only a few teams that could make a run at ‘Melo in 2011.
  3. From a pure basketball perspective, which situation sounds more appealing: playing with Amare Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, and a host of role players, or playing with John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatche, a quickly improving JaVale McGee, youngsters like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, and a likely high lottery pick? Remember, the Knicks gave up their next two draft picks in a trade with the Rockets last offseason.

I’m not the first to throw out the idea of Carmelo to the Wizards. Back in February, Wizards fan and TNT analyst David Aldridge suggested it’s not a far fetched possibility:

It’s worth noting, though, that veteran Wiz-watcher David Aldridge of TNT and threw out an interesting theory earlier in the week, suggesting that Leonsis could choose to preserve most of Washington’s newfound cap space until the summer of 2011. That’s when Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony headlines free agency.

The trade for Kirk Hinrich dampens that cap room, but the Wizards can clear that space quickly next year. And if need be, they could trade Hinrich away since he would become a useful veteran on an expiring deal.

There are plenty of other factors that could prevent Carmelo from donning a Wizards uniform. The Nuggets might not want to be “LeBron’d” (saw that on Yahoo and thought it was pretty appropriate) and could trade Anthony before the February deadline. If that’s the case, Washington doesn’t have much leeway, or anything substantial to offer. It would be against Ted Leonsis’s strategy to trade youth away.

So for now Wizards fans, hold tight and watch the Carmelo Anthony situation closely. Washington is clearly a long shot to emerge in the Carmelo Anthony saga, but then again, Washington was also a long shot to end up with John Wall. It’s a new era in D.C. basketball and I’ll continue to stay optimistic for what’s to come.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Andray Blatche Anthony Randolph Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony Knicks Carmelo Anthony Leaving Nuggets Carmelo Anthony Wizards Danilo Gallinari David Aldridge Gilbert Arenas Javale Mcgee John Wall Kevin Seraphin New York Knicks Trevor Booker Washington Wizards

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