The summer of mega free-agent signings has come and gone without the Sixers drawing so much as a second glance from any of the big names on the move, much to the surprise of no one. But now, with just a couple of weeks before the start of the pre-season, a huge name previously not even on the board is being discussed as a trade possibility for the 76ers: Carmelo Anthony.
The Nuggets forward, who has made quite a splash the last month and a half with his public-not-public demands for a trade out of Denver, was previously thought to be most likely going to a team like the Nets, Knicks or Rockets, if anywhere at all. However, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that members of the Nuggets staff would be interested in discussing a deal for Melo centered around the Sixers' Andre Iguodala, and likely including a young player like Thaddeus Young and some expiring contracts as well.
Does the deal make sense from either or both sides? Well, it might be a lot to give up for Anthony if he doesn't sign an extension first--as mentioned in the article, Melo has more or less OK'd a trade to the Nets or Knicks, but might have reservations about going to a likely non-contending team in a smaller media market. Then again, the Sixers have been looking to dump Iguodala's contract for a while now, and might welcome the opportunity to get some legitimate return (and at last, a superstar to market) with it, even if it is for just a year, and then to have the cap space to work with when the season ends.
I see it as less likely from the Nugs' perspective. With Melo gone they're going to need young, potential-laden talent to sell to their fanbase as a legitimate rebuilding effort, but just about everyone knows who Iguodala is by now--an extremely talented complementary player, and a mostly poor excuse for a first option. It's hard to imagine Denver fans welcoming 'Dre with open arms as the primary replacement for the franchise's best player since the 80s, and it's doubtful that Thad or Marreese Speights or whoever else would go with him would do all too much to sweeten the pot.
The CBS Sports article also mentions the Sixers as a possible partner in a three-way deal to get Carmelo to the Nets, which could end up netting the Sixers Derrick Favors, NJ's #3 pick (taken by then-GM Rod Thorn, now with the Sixers) in the '10 draft. If Philly is truly trying to rebuild around youth, a Dre-for-Favors swap would certainly be an efficient way to do that, as the team could then potentially trot out a Holiday-Turner-Young-Favors-Hawes starting lineup--all former top-20 picks, and none over the age of 22. Hard to imagine this not resulting in a 20-25-win season next year, but another trip or two to the lottery and we could be Oklahoma City East soon enough (well, minus the whole Durant thing anyway). Intriguing, certainly.
Ultimately, I think this is all just end-of-summer boredom speculation, and Berger himself admits that the teams have not actually even discussed either such deal just yet. Still, it's fun to dream, and it's nice to at least be mentioned as a potential player in one of the off-season's biggest deals--good to know that the other 29 teams know that we're still alive out there somewhere.
What do you guys think? How'd Melo look as a Liberty Baller?