Start the Commotion: Sixers Possible Landing Spot for Melo?

Start the Commotion: Sixers Possible Landing Spot for Melo?

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?

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

NEW YORK -- John Wall had 29 points and 13 assists, scoring Washington's final four points in the last 32 seconds as the surging Wizards beat the New York Knicks 113-110 on Thursday night.

Otto Porter Jr. made six 3-pointers for the second straight night and added 23 points, but the Wizards needed big plays from Wall down the stretch to win their fourth in a row.

He made two free throws to put Washington back on top after New York had rallied to take a 110-109 lead, then rebounded Carmelo Anthony's miss and left all the Knicks in his dust as he raced down the floor for a dunk with 13.7 seconds to play.

Anthony finished with 34 points but Wall stole the ball from Brandon Jennings to prevent the Knicks from attempting a 3-pointer that could have tied it (see full recap).

Leonard scores 34 to lead Spurs over Nuggets
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, rookie Dejounte Murray added a season-high 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a pregame injury to Pau Gasol in beating the Denver Nuggets 118-104 on Thursday night.

Denver's three-game winning streak was snapped despite a career-high 35 points from Nikola Jokic.

Leonard had his fifth straight 30-point performance, right after learning he will start for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season.

The Spurs were unexpectedly without Gasol, Tony Parker and then coach Gregg Popovich. Gasol and Parker were both late scratches due to injury, and Popovich was ejected for the first time this season.

Gasol broke the ring finger on his left (non-shooting) hand by jamming it against Kyle Anderson's shoulder during pregame warmups while attempting a running hook. The 16-year veteran center immediately clutched his hand and left the court.

X-rays revealed the break, and the Spurs said there is no timeline for Gasol's return.

Irving, James lead Cavs over Suns
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season.

Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms.

Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Andre Burakovsky, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Jay beagle, Brett Connolly, Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams also scored, and Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Winnik each had two assists to help Washington earn at least a point in its 12th straight game (10-0-2) for an NHL-best 66 points.

Braden Holtby bounced back from his roughest outing of the season with 22 saves. Holtby was pulled after giving up a season-high five goals on 26 shots in an 8-7 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. He improved to 22-8-4 and 5-0 lifetime against St. Louis (see full recap).

Grabner scores 2 goals, Rangers top Leafs
TORONTO -- Michael Grabner scored two goals against his former team, helping the New York Rangers snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei and J.T. Miller added goals for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves following a series of rough outings.

Tyler Bozak and Zach Hyman scored for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Maple Leafs had earned 21 of a possible 26 points in their previous 13 games (10-2-1). Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 40 shots (see full recap).

Tavares leads Islanders to shutout of Stars
NEW YORK -- Getting a new coach this week didn't change things much for the Islanders -- and oddly enough, that's a good thing for New York.

John Tavares narrowly missed out on his second hat trick in a week, Thomas Greiss got his second straight shutout and the Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night in their first game since firing longtime coach Jack Capuano.

New York canned Capuano in the middle of his seventh season Tuesday, replacing him on an interim basis with Doug Weight (see full recap).

Niederreiter, Wild dodge letdown, edge Coyotes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Nino Niederreiter had two power-play goals and an assist, including the go-ahead score for the Minnesota Wild with 7:06 remaining in a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Thursday night after the Coyotes came back from a two-goal deficit.

With Shane Doan in the penalty box for hooking, Niederreiter knocked in a nifty redirect of Mikael Granlund's slap shot for the winner. Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 shots for the Wild, who are 18-2-2 in their last 22 games.

Louis Domingue made 21 saves for the Coyotes, who lost their fourth in a row and fell to 2-12-1 in their last 15 games starting with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota in Arizona on Dec. 17 (see full recap).