Despite Carmelo Anthony’s insistence that he’s never asked to be traded, many basketball pundits expected the team to send the superstar to the New Jersey Nets this week in a four-team arrangement. But the deal is apparently “dead,” after the Nuggets took too long to pull the trigger, writes Sports Illustrated. Although Denver would have landed two first-round draft picks in addition to Derrick Favors—a promising young player who was the third overall pick earlier this year—and aged Russian sharpshooter Andrei Kirilenko from the Utah Jazz, they also would have added roughly $10 million to the payroll this year, pushing the team far above the NBA’s dollar-for-dollar luxury tax.
This doesn’t mean Melo won’t eventually end up in New Jersey, which remains one of the most likely landing spots for him when the situation eventually pans out.
While many have suggested that Melo holds the power (since he’s forcing the team to deal him), The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla thinks the Nuggets are proving they won’t be pushed into anything. The team has until February to make a deal and can take its time. For Melo’s part, he continues to play the situation with care, avoiding petulance.
“I love this game too much to disrespect the game like that,” he tells Kiszla. “Anytime I step on the court, I’m going to give it my all, regardless of what’s going on.”