I have been a Nuggets fan since the days of David Thompson and Bobby Jones. I was glad that the Nuggets got ‘Melo in the draft. I was very pleased to see that ‘Melo even learned how to play defense while in Denver. He could be a great all around player if he wasn’t so concerned with his scoring average.
Anyways, it is clear that ‘Melo is gone. I would be perfectly OK with that, if he just told the truth and laid it all on the table.
To summarize (I am paraphrasing the quotes):
- ‘Melo has been playing a game of “I never said that I want to be traded.”
- ‘Melo has been playing the “I just want to keep my options open.”
- ‘Melo has been playing the “It isn’t about my wife wanting to go to NY, she will go where I choose.”
- ‘Melo has been far from honest about what he wants and what he is willing to do.
The whole situation has been interesting, but it is really pissing me off watching ‘Melo try to play the misunderstood good guy in this situation.
1. Just because ‘Melo hasn’t publically demanded the trade doesn’t mean that he hasn’t asked for it through his agents. It is clear that he wants a trade as his agents are acting on his behalf and they have clearly demanded the trade.
2. Keeping his options open means that he wants to delay a decision to see how the season plays out. I can buy that, but it has been clear since day 1 that he has no intention of signing with the Nuggets.
3. Clearly, LaLa wants to go to NY. He is making these statements to try to get people from blaming her for this situation. While she might not be the main reason, I have no doubt that she is helping drive the decision to leave Denver.
4. ‘Melo refused to say what he wants the Nuggets to do for him to resign with them. He has also refused to say what exact teams/situations he is willing to accept in the event of a trade.
The year began with ‘Melo refusing to sign his extension for the maximum amount allowed. All he would say is that he wanted to keep his options open. OK, that sounded fair at the time. However, he had his management team singing a different tune to Nugget’s management. ‘Melo’s management team kept telling the Nuggets that he wanted to be traded to a large market team. Not that he wanted to be traded to a championship team, but that he wanted to be traded to a large market team. Later, it became that he wanted to be traded to NY. Why NY? Well, that makes sense as he grew up in the area and that his wife is from the area. What everyone forgets is that his wife really wanted to be in NY because it would be easier for them to get their own reality TV.
The problem with the early trade demands were several. The first one was that ‘Melo refused to say that he wanted to be traded. He even kept telling the press that he never requested a trade even though his management team made the request. It was like playing a little kid’s game. The other trade problem is that nobody wanted to pay the hefty price that the Nuggets want for ‘Melo. I applaud the Nuggets for not just giving in and jumping on a trade. ‘Melo is a major talent, and they want to get as much as they can for him. Chicago refused to give up the players that the Nuggets wanted in exchange, and NY really didn’t and still doesn’t have anyone worthwhile to trade for ‘Melo.
Recently, the trade requests have been more focused on just NY. As previously discussed, there just isn’t a good trade to be made with NY. The NY team doesn’t have the draft pics or the young players that meet the Nugget’s requirements. They really don’t have anything to offer in return for ‘Melo. Of course, these new trade requests/demands have also been accompanied by ‘Melo singing a new song about wanting to make sure that he goes to a team that has a great chance of winning it all within 5 years. Well, that sounds like the Nuggets, to me.
The last couple of days really made it clear to me that ‘Melo is just a little punk. The Nets want to talk to him about their plan. The Nets want to sell ‘Melo on their team and why he should want to go there and play. ‘Melo pitched a bit of a fit over the request with his statements about it not being something he should do and something that isn’t his job.
WTF? He wants to go to NY (the Nets are moving to Brooklyn next year). He wants to go where they have a plan and the ability to win it all in 5 years, but he won’t listen to the Net’s plans. Either he really wants to win it all or he doesn’t. It seems to me that if it were true that he wants to win it all, then he would want to sit down and meet the new Nets ownership and to hear their plans.
The fun part of the situation is that ‘Melo knows that with a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that he likely will not be able to make the money that he can now if he signs the extension that has been offered by the Nuggets. This limits ‘Melo’s decision making ability. It limits his “options” in this case to the following:
- Sign the extension and stay with the Nuggets.
- Sign the extension and accept a trade to the Nets.
- Not sign the extension and then become a free agent.
What ‘Melo really wants is the ability to choose his team AND get all of the money available to him through the extension offered by the Nuggets. If he were to become a free agent, he would lose several million dollars because the new CBA will certainly reduce the amount of the maximum contract that he can sign.
Why Not Pull a LeBron?
That is the question for the season. LeBron played the game last year. He played the “I am leaving my options open” game. He did the dance with the media. Then he got together with his friends and signed with Miami. The big difference with LeBron is that he strung along Cleveland and then he signed with Miami for considerably less than if he had signed with Cleveland. Even though he did do a sign and trade with Cleveland to get to Miami and get a good paycheck, he would have made more had he stayed in Cleveland.
‘Melo doesn’t want to give up any money by going to free agency and not only not getting the max by resigning, but he would also probably give up even more under the new CBA. It is clearly about money.
I am glad that the Nuggets are doing their best to make the trade with the Nets happen. I really want to see them get a decent return on ‘Melo since it is clear that ‘Melo has no desire to stay in Denver. Let’s not forget, ‘Melo already sold his house in Denver, which means that “leaving his options open” does not mean staying in Denver.
To be perfectly honest, for the Nuggets to win with ‘Melo, they need a true leader like Billups to run the show. ‘Melo is not the leader-type. He is incredibly talented, but he is more of a supporting piece than the central piece for a team.
Conclusion – What Would I do if I Were ‘Melo?
Oh, it is so easy and so clear to me. If I were ‘Melo, I would be concerned with a major decision in my career: Do I want to win it all or do I want to make buttloads of money?
Win – I would stay in Denver and do my best to get them over the top. They are close to winning it all.
Money – I would be on my way to the Nets right away. They have a new billionaire owner, a new arena, and they will certainly be in a major market with the move to NY. The new ownership seems determined to win it all, too. If the new ownership can get the right pieces through trades and free agency, the Nets look like they can turn it around and start winning really fast, but this decision is about money, and the maximum amount can be made by going to the Nets.