The Nuggets put all the Carmelo trade talks to rest today by assuring Melo and his agent that he will not be traded any time soon.
Hopefully this will put to bed all of the idiotic trade rumors surrounding Carmelo since the Nuggs lost out in the first round of the playoffs again this season. I absolutely cannot believe how much steam these trade rumors have picked up over the past couple of weeks. It's got to be awkward for Melo around the city right now. Do you think that he just assumes that everyone he meets hates him and wants him out of town? And it is so ridiculous. I mean, what kind of asshat trades an NBA / International superstar who just turned 24 less than a month ago? I'll never understand the thinking behind the people who want him traded.
"We've never won a playoff series in his entire career!" They say.
Really? That's your basis for wanting to trade him? First of all, we were the worst team in the NBA before we drafted him, and we've been to the playoffs every season since. Also.... HE JUST TURNED 24!!! Here's a list of some other players who hadn't won a playoff series by the time they turned 24?
- Michael Jordan - Dominique Wilkins - Tracy McGrady - Kevin Garnett - Karl Malone - Steve Nash - Paul Pierce - Ray Allen - Chauncey Billups - Jason Kidd - Yao Ming - George Gervin - Alex English - Pete Marovich - Earl Monroe - Bill Walton - Willis Reed - Oscar Robertson
And that was with me looking on basketballreference.com for all of 10 minutes. That's right, the entire "Boston Three Party" had yet to win a playoff series by their 24th birthday. Ten different league MVP's hadn't won a series by the time they were 24. Even Bill Walton (who's so quick to point out Melo's flaws) hadn't won a playoff series at the same age. I wonder if Bulls fans were calling for a Jordan trade by his 24th birthday, claiming that they could just never win with a player like him?
The point of this is, you don't trade a player who's this young and this talented unless you can upgrade. And there aren't many players or scenarios that give you an upgrade in talent over Carmelo Anthony.
Many radio hosts in town claim that Melo took a big step back this past season and regressed. But the stats don't really back that claim up. He shot a career best 49.4% from the field and 35.4% from three. He averaged a career best 7.4 rebounds per game (1.3 per game higher than any other season), a career high 1.3 steals, and also averaged 3.4 assists per game. His scoring numbers were down because his averaged over 3 shots per game less than the previous season, which can be attributed to playing a full season with Allen Iverson.
I guess I'm in the minority that thinks the Nuggets have a team in place that can contend. They need to be kicked in the ass to show some heart on the defensive side of the ball, but they have the athletes to be able to play D if they buy in. It's not likely that they'll win a title with the current team without a drastic change in attitude and philosophy (maybe a coaching change?), but they really aren't that far off. They won 50 games last year with their pre-season starting PG and PF both missing the majority of the season. Christ, Anthony Carter started 67 games for them last season... ANTHONY CARTER!! Don't get me wrong, I like AC.... he's just not an NBA starting point guard.
I guess I just don't see the need to blow up the entire Nuggets roster and future yet. We have Melo, JR Smith, Nene and Kleiza who are all under the age of 25, hopefully Thursday's draft can bring in our future PG or possibly Marcus Camby's eventual replacement. But let's not trade a guy who's going to be an All-Star for the next 8+ seasons for half of his value just because he hasn't won a playoff series yet.... Or because he likes to drink and drive... or because he likes to take weed to the airport, or get into slap fights, or talk about killing snitches, or call out his teammates as quitters to the media....
Dammit Melo... get your shit together. It's getting pretty hard to keep defending you.