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One thing we'll never know for sure is how serious the Lakers were about acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets. Some reports said that they had entered preliminary discussions with the team, but pretty much every team talks to every other team at this time of year. We have no idea if those talks ever approached anything close to serious.
What we do know now is that the Lakers "pursuit" of Anthony, no matter how serious it ever got, is likely over, according to Alan Hahn of Newsday. The Knicks are reportedly the last team standing, and that leaves all of the other teams that had shown interest over the past few months left looking for other trade options.
So if not the Knicks, then who? Hahn reports that the Nets remain out of the picture after announcing as much last month, and the Rockets, who were considering making a move around Yao Ming's expiring contract, are also out because Anthony does not want to sign an extension there. The Lakers, who were rumored to have offered Andrew Bynum for Anthony, are out too, though truthfully, they were never really in. That leaves one darkhorse, according to Hahn.
Well, the speculation was kind of fun while it lasted. I don't think the Lakers were ever really serious about Carmelo. But it was enough for ESPN to devote hours of coverage to it, so that has to account for something.
The rumors that have Carmelo Anthony coming to the Lakers are enough to drive a man insane. I'm not even emotionally invested in the outcome and it makes me uncomfortable. I can only imagine how it feels to be one of the players mentioned in these rumors.
But even all of the rumors swirling didn't affect Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest in last night's win over the Celtics, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News.
Bynum said the trade rumors "don't bug me," because his name comes up in deadline rumors every February. Artest said he would like to stay with the Lakers. But when he was asked if he minded his reduced role in the L.A. offense, he followed with a cryptic statement.
"If my team needs me, I'll be there for them," he said. "If they don't need me, hey, it's not a problem."
Everyone has weighed in on that rumor since, including Kobe Bryant, but the one thing that hasn’t really been reported on is whether Anthony himself would sign an extension to stay with the Lakers.
Earlier today, though, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Anthony isn’t exactly in love with the possibility of moving to the West Coast because he grew up in Baltimore, MD, and still has most of his family on the East Coast.
Irrespective of how serious or not L.A. is about a potential Andrew Bynum-for-Melo swap — and despite Melo’s well-chronicled bond with Kobe Bryant — one source close to the process maintains that one reason Anthony is lukewarm about the prospect of going to Lakers is because he doesn’t want to move even farther away from his family on the East Coast than he is now.
It would seem that if the Lakers are to give up Bynum, they would probably be looking for Anthony to sign an extension to stay in Los Angeles. Only time will tell, though.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has seen it all in his 14 seasons in purple and gold, so the trade rumors about Carmelo Anthony coming to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum did not really phase him, according to a radio interview he gave with ESPN Radio L.A. Bryant declined to discuss the reports of a Melo-for-Bynum swap specifically, saying, “I don’t really address rumors,” but he did express his wish for Anthony to get what he wants.
“I always wanted him to be happy with whatever decision he makes and wherever he ends up,” Bryant said in the interview, in which he also discussed the Lakers’ NBA Finals rematch against the Boston Celtics tonight and L.A.’s struggles lately. Bryant referred to that highly anticipated game as “a kind of measuring stick for us.” The Celtics soundly defeated the Lakers, 109-96, in late January behind 32 points from Paul Pierce. Bryant scored 41 points, but Bynum and Pau Gasol netted just 23 on 8-of-19 shooting.
Overall, it sounds like Bryant is more focused on his on-court role which, as he put it, “is to manage the team that is assembled.” He’ll leave the General Managing to Mitch Kupchak, who he said “has done a fantastic job to this point.”
If the L.A. Lakers are to trade for Carmelo Anthony, it’s news to him. Following today’s shootaround, the Nuggets forward told reporters the rumor “was a new one,” according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Yesterday, as we covered in this StoryStream, Chris Broussard reported the Lakers and Nuggets had preliminary trade talks about Anthony, which would involve sending Andrew Bynum to Denver. Bynum’s an attractive centerpiece for a trade, but because the Lakers cannot offer any expiring contracts along with Bynum for Anthony, questions about Denver’s incentive for making such a deal remain.
Although Anthony hadn’t heard about the rumor, Bynum has. From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
The rumors will continue swirling as the NBA trade deadline (Feb. 24) draws nearer. We’ll keep you up to date in this StoryStream.
Is there anyone out there that isn't sick of all the Carmelo Anthony trade speculation at this point? Every day it's a new team, a new player heading to Denver in return and then a new denial from that organization. It's all starting to become a little redundant. This is why I stopped watching Entourage, I know how all of these storylines are going to end.
Personally, I don't care what happens as long as it is resolved sooner rather than later. Unfortunately for me, the Nuggets don't seem to be willing to grant my wish, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.
"The plan is to wait until as close to the 24th as they can, and see what other teams are going to offer between now and then," a person with knowledge of the Nuggets' plans said last night. "They're in no rush."
What a bummer. I guess it's another three weeks of, "The director hates you, Vince. O, wait a minute you got the part after all, obviously."
Lawrence also identifies the Knicks as the team that Carmelo Anthony is most likely to be traded to at the deadline, but he also notes that the Bulls, The Rockets and the Mavericks are also rumored to be willing to make an offer. Nobody knows how this one is going to play out, we just know that it probably isn't going to play out sooner rather than later.
As soon as the rumors emerged that the Lakers were considering trading Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony, a source from within the organization shot it down; claiming that the team would not trade the big man. That isn't sitting too well with Bill Plaschke, who wonders why the Lakers wouldn't trade the injury plagued Bynum for a much bigger star in Anthony.
How are you going to build a franchise around a player who has spent six years here without one defining moment? The answer is, you can't. And when the Lakers responded to Tuesday's Internet buzz by saying they would never trade Bynum to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, I was struck with one more question.
There are times when I agree with Bill Plaschke, but I don't agree with his argument here. I understand that Carmelo Anthony will always be the better "alpha dog" for an NBA team, but that isn't what the Lakers need right now. While Kobe Bryant is still around, the Lakers need players that fit next to him, not players who replicate what he brings to the game. Out of context, Bynum isn't nearly as good as Carmelo. But given the rest of the Lakers team, Bynum might be a better fit.
He also points out that the Lakers have struggled on the perimeter much more than they have struggled inside.
The Lakers are near the top of the league in rebounding but are only 15th in the league in field goal percentage in the fourth quarter of games they trail.
Well don't you think those league leading rebounding numbers would drop without Bynum? The Lakers don't need help inside because they already stout there. Trading Bynum would mean sacrificing their biggest strength, outside of Kobe arguably, for a redundant player. And I'm not even sure that Kobe would let 'Melo shoot the ball in the fourth quarter of a game in which they trail.
I'm not saying I wouldn't trade Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony, I just don't think that Bill Plaschke is advocating that trade in the right way. His point might be sound, but his reasoning is not.
If you're keeping score at home, there have been two prominent rumors involving Carmelo Anthony so far this week; and it's only Wednesday. First there was the rumor that had Carmelo headed for the Knicks as part of a three way trade with the Timberwolves on Monday. Then on Tuesday, the rumors about 'Melo heading to the Lakers in exchange for Andrew Bynum emerged.
Some sources connected with the situation find the timing of those two rumors to be a little funny, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
A third person connected to the situation said he found it "suspicious" that the Bynum-Anthony scenario would become public so soon after it was publicly revealed that the Knicks have found a willing participant in the Timberwolves to contribute to a three-team scenario that would send Anthony to New York. That person said he received some signals early last week that the Lakers and Nuggets were at least considering entering into Bynum-Anthony discussions.
"Someone is trying to scare New York," the person said.
This is a commonly held belief around the basketball world. The Knicks are probably more willing to trade the parts necessary to land Carmelo than the Lakers are, and the introduction of another potential suitor might scare them into ponying up some additional resources they may have been unwilling to part with. Nobody knows where this Lakers rumor originated, but based on the players involved, I could certainly understand if it was just being used as a source of motivation from the Nuggets front office.
In Andrew Bynum, the Lakers have a 23-year-old center who already ranks among the best in the league at his position, and is still getting better. Based on that alone, you would think that Bynum would be untouchable in any trade scenario. But yesterday the news broke that the Lakers and Nuggets were talking a trade for Carmelo Anthony and Bynum was at the center of the deal. Even if the Lakers shot it down, just the mention of the trade is significant.
Rohan Cruyff just wrote an excellent feature on SB Nation about what these rumors mean about the Lakers relationship with Andrew Bynum.
In many ways, that's been a recurring theme in Bynum's career. Being a talented player in Los Angeles guarantees media oversaturation. To solely comment on Bynum's fame given his arguably disproportional impact, however, is to overlook his history and relationship with the Lakers.
Try to get past all the big words in there, because I promise it means something. What Rohan is saying is that even if Andrew Bynum never reaches the heights people of expect of a Lakers center with so much talent, he is still more important to this team than someone he can bring back in a trade. Maybe this section explains it better.
As much as perception of the NBA is star-driven, franchises don't win titles without impeccable team construction. The Lakers' ability to rotate height for height is one of their most crucial strengths. Put simply? Bynum (and not "theoretical future Bynum") fits. Bynum's current value to the Lakers is firmly rooted in that fact and outstrips the theoretical value he'd provide by coming closer to his ceiling ... whatever that is these days.
Andrew Bynum, because of the injuries and other things, may never become the player that everyone expects and wants him to be. But because of the position he plays, and the way in which he plays it, he is extremely important to the Lakers hopes for a Championship.
With a new rumor popping up every 15 seconds or so, it's hard to remember that it isn't a certainty that the Nuggets will trade Carmelo Anthony before the deadline later this month. There is no guarantee that the Nuggets will move him, and we've seen other teams in the past let their stars enter free agency, only to receive nothing for them in return. A certain gentleman from the greater Akron area comes to mind.
According to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post, that unpopular conclusion is looking more possible every day.
Those close to the situation say there is a better-than-average chance Anthony will not be dealt until after the season. But that option isn't the best way to collect a significant amount of future assets for the forward. Yet, if the Nuggets are going to get something similar now to what they could get in the offseason, they will opt to keep the team intact and see what it can do in the playoffs.
Stand down, you few proud Carmelo Anthony trade enthusiasts: Everybody who's anybody is saying this isn't a feasible thing we're talking about, a position which will surely change four or five times today. The LAT put a pretty pat end to the rumors Tuesday with a handful of denials from the Lakers, albeit off the record, including more pooh-poohs to the idea that Andrew Bynum's somehow involved:
The Lakers were pulled into the season-long Carmelo Anthony drama after an ESPN report named them as possible trade partners with the Denver Nuggets for the unhappy All-Star forward.
There were denials from the start, team officials saying off the record they wouldn't include Andrew Bynum in a deal for Anthony, sticking with a declaration to The Times last week that there was "zero" chance they would acquire Anthony before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
But wait! Theres more! SB Nation's Tom Ziller throws in a new wrinkle sourced on the opposite coast:
Carmelo Anthony trade rumors will continue to circulate over the next couple of weeks, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, because the Denver Nuggets are interested in waiting until the trade deadline on Feb. 24 in order to drive up the price for their superstar.
Meanwhile, our own Silver Screen And Roll sighs with understandable exasperation at the unwanted circus on our doorstep:
Suffice it to say, we've rapidly reached a point where you can find an unnamed source to vouch for pretty much any set of Melo-related facts you'd prefer to believe.
You'll know more when we do. Stay tuned, sports fans.
Earlier today it was reported that the Lakers had begun preliminary discussions with the Nuggets about acquiring Carmelo Anthony. Andrew Bynum, still only 23 years old, was considered to be the center piece of any potential trade for Carmelo. According to Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the Fabulous Forum blog on LATimes.com, the Lakers will not be willing to move Bynum, even if it brought Carmelo Anthony back in return.
"What's out there is inaccurate," said a Lakers representative familiar with the negotiations.
The report said the deal would revolve around Bynum for Anthony, though a team source told The Times on Tuesday that the Lakers were unwilling to deal Bynum, the 23-year-old center who has been plagued by knee problems.
The last part there is why I think the Lakers might listen if the Nuggets were willing to talk a Bynum-for-Melo swap. Bynum has yet to prove that he can stay healthy over the course of a full season, and Melo has always been durable. Melo is older than Bynum, but he is still at the very beginning of his "prime."
I hope the Lakers don't stay tied to Andrew Bynum solely because they have enjoyed bringing him along as a prospect. If they feel like his knees may never stay healthy, and that they can get Carmelo without giving up too much in addition to Bynum. I'm not saying they should do it, I just don't think they should immediately write it off.
The Lakers, particularly GM Mitch Kupchak, have spoken about potentially making a move to help shake things up for the two time defending champions. Carmelo Anthony has refused a contract extension in Denver, and it seems as though the Nuggets need to move him before the deadline to recoup some of his value. Do you see where I'm going with this?
The Lakers have reportedly begun preliminary discussions with the Denver Nuggets about trading for Carmelo Anthony, but there is no word about how far long those talks are. This is from the original report by ESPN's Chris Broussard.
"There have been discussions between the two teams," one of the sources said. "The Lakers are definitely an option."
What the Nuggets would want from the Nuggets in exchange for Anthony has not been reported, but one could assume that it would revolve around center Andrew Bynum. The Lakers would be losing some of their size, but they would also be moving a player with an injury history for one of the league's premier scorers just entering his prime.
There would have to be other players involved as well, but there is no word as to which players on the Lakers the Nuggets would covet in a deal. Broussard reports that the Nuggets would not be interested in Ron Artest or Lamar Odom, two large contracts that could help make the money match up. Without them, it would be hard to make a deal work between the two teams, and a third team might need to be brought in to help facilitate a trade.
We'll have all the news and updates about this rumor as it progresses in this StoryStream.
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