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Where To Now For Melo?

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The Carmelo Anthony trade to New Jersey is dead. Nets billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov has instructed his front office to cease talks with Denver on the basis that the "price is simply too expensive." A saga that has been played in out in the public eye over the past month or so is apparantly over for New Jersey, but where does this leave Carmelo? Right where he wants to be, in complete control of his situation and more than likely headed to the Knicks.

Much like LeBron James in 2010, Carmelo Anthony has options and leverage and is not afraid to use it. We've heard the rumours and quotes from anonymous sources claiming that Melo wanted New York and the Knicks only, now we have the surest sign yet that indeed, despite his public comments of "weighing up my options", that he may have forced the Nets to pull out by refusing to sign an extension there. Why would he sign? For the same reasons LeBron didn't, it's a franchise going nowhere in the next 2 years. Owner Prokhorov has made his intentions clear, he wants the Nets to be a championship contender within 5 years but the reality is they probably won't. Even with Melo, the roster in New Jersey would have been mediocre at best while Anthony would have to spend the better part of his prime years waiting for a move to Brooklyn that may never come.

If in fact he refused to sign with the Nets he did the right thing. People point the finger and compare the 'Melo-Drama' to 'The Decision' and say that both players are giving up on their sides too easily, that there is no loyalty displayed. The Nuggets do not have championship caliber talent surrounding Melo at the moment (let's face it, it's true, they've advanced past the 1st round once only), why should Melo be loyal to a franchise that during the off-season remained relatively inactive in signing players? If the franchise were serious about keeping Melo there they needed to make the right decisions, now they now face an uncertain situation in their bid to keep Melo. They could trade him now at a cut price, lose him for nothing at the end of the season or make a blockbuster trade a'la the Los Angeles Lakers when they stole Pau Gasol.

If winning is the key motivator behind Anthony's decision then Denver should try to show their star they are prepared to make moves to keep him happy -similar to what Orlando are doing with Dwight Howard. It was a scenario faced by Dwyane Wade prior to LeBron signing. Wade wanted help, Miami said 'sign and we'll get help', while Wade countered with 'get help and I'll sign'.

It's too late for that now in Denver, the drama has been played out too much and taken too much of a toll in the public's eye. Anthony was boo'ed on his home court yesterday despite scoring 35 points in a win over OKC. It's time to move on and New York is the destination.Maybe a team trades for him a a 'rental', Houston has been mentioned, but Melo has held all the leverage up and has been using it to get to where he wants. The bright lights of Broadway are calling , it's just a matter of time before Carmelo arrives. Whether through trade or free agency, Carmelo Anthony will be a Knickerbocker by July.

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