After many months of rumors and anticipation, the reality of Carmelo Anthony's departure from the Denver Nuggets appears to be at hand. If it goes down as reported so far, the deal will be on par with the biggest trade ever executed in the NBA. According to Yahoo! Sports, the deal will send Melo, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, forward Shelden Williams, and the Detroit Pistons' Richard Hamilton to the New Jersey Nets. In return, Denver will receive two first-round draft picks from the Nets, point guard Devin Harris, promising rookie forward Derrick Favors, and guards Anthony Morrow, Ben Uzoh, Stephen Graham, and Quinton Ross. The Pistons would take Nets' forward Troy Murphy and center Johan Petro.
The Pistons came into the deal to help entice Melo to sign an extension with the Nets, which apparently might not have been necessary had the Nuggets been quicker to pull the trigger. But multiple reports say the leadership team of general manager Masai Ujiri and president Josh Kroenke has been too slow to respond. "You've got to understand you're dealing with a first-time GM and a first-time president. They've got to come to grips with the fact they're trading Carmelo Anthony," one team executive tells ESPN.
If the deal does go down today, Melo's last game in Denver will be among his worst as a Nugget. The Denver Post says he played as if he had "senioritis" this weekend against the New Orleans Hornets, finishing with just eight points in 34 minutes as the Nuggets fell 96-87. Denver fans booed, and while they might have been booing the team's third-straight loss, most seemed to be directing their ire toward Melo. "You hear [the boos]," Melo told the Post after the game. "Does it affect me? Not at all. It hurt a little bit knowing that it's coming from my home-team fans, but other than that, I try to go out and play hard every night." To boot, he responds to the most recent details of how his trade is supposed to play out with, "Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. Just not at all" (via AOL Fanhouse).