Pro Basketball: The News Won’t Be All Bad for the Nets

new jersey netsThe proposed trade of Carmelo Anthony looks like a non-possibility from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. That’s the word that came down from Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov before a game against the Utah Jazz. Of course, the Nets players who were said to be a possible part of the deal (and that included everyone on the roster with the exception of center Book Lopez) felt a lot more at ease, and the team proceeded to go out and beat Utah on what was “Russian Culture Night” at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Ah yes, Newark; my own hometown and a place ‘Melo was very hesitant about going to. Ultimately that was the road block that was going to hold up any deal. Anthony did not want to sign a contract extension with the Nets, just as he didn’t want to sign one with the Denver Nuggets. In fact, the only team he reportedly would have been willing to go with was the New York Knicks.

This was kind of perplexing to many of the fans who were looking in on this “Melo-drama,” because the Nets, as most NBA followers know, are going to be headed to Brooklyn, Carmelo’s birthplace, in a couple of years. At that point they will look to challenge the Knicks for hearts of basketball fans in the Big Apple, and may find themselves with a whole island (“Long Island” that is) to draw from. It would be a stretch to say that those plans were scuttled, because the Nets have the ability to go out and sign some free agent talent, a leftover effect from the pipe dream they had about getting LeBron James to sign a free agent deal. More »

NBA Basketball: Nets’ Prokhorov Actually Played ‘Melo Scenario Well

Trading for Carmelo Anthony probably wouldn’t have been a bad deal for the New Jersey on-their-way-to-Brooklyn new jersey netsNets. This is a team that doesn’t exactly have a sizable nucleus. Sure, there are some promising players, but they were all movable parts, with the exception of Brook Lopez and possibly Derrick Favors (whose name was mentioned prominently anyway in trade talks).

It’s not just a matter of what the Nets could do on the court with Anthony. There are sizable marketing and merchandising considerations. If you’re trying to reverse the fortunes of a losing team, you had better have something else to offer than fan in the meantime. In this particular case, the Nets may have found some short-term relief, as there was the opportunity to put not only Anthony, but Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton into the lineup as well. That may have been a pacifier, for as long as it lasted. And with the planned move to Brooklyn, which is supposed to take place in 2012, it may have been worth it to put a legitimate star before the public. And say what you want about Carmelo Anthony’s fundamentals, he is, by NBA standards, a big star.

And as was demonstrated by the Miami Heat this past off-season, sometimes when you have one star, it can serve as a magnet to get other stars, and you just know that some of the people in Nets’ management was thinking about what the landscape might look like with someone like Chris Paul dishing the ball. More »

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