Carmelo Anthony, like a bad $100 bill, keeps turning up

First, I want to give credit to all of the comments Jacob and Rahat’s postings have elicited. Such a melting pot of well articulated opinions is rare to find and should be appreciated, at the very least, for challenging our perceptions. I had failed to realize what one commenter, Alituro, equated simply: “essentially all you lost to get Anthony was Landry, again there’s no argument.” Alituro annotated the moves involved: Carl Landry, a Rockets’ second round pick, was exchanged for Kevin Martin from Sacramento last year; Martin is presently heavily rumored to be the centerpiece of a trade for Carmelo Anthony. That is, I suppose, the naked truth – a second round draft pick for a superstar. That is amazing.

Is the brass tacks a credible means of evaluation? In most cases, yes. Authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson argue for solutions that “deliver maximum efficiency with minimum effort,” in their book Rework. George Clooney’s character in Up In The Air states without prejudice, “I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.” It is easy to agree that getting Carmelo Anthony for Carl Landry, a second round pick, passes those tests.

Taking a step back to gain more perspective, I struggle to find an argument against trading a second rounder for a superstar. Weird. Such a move absolutely maximizes value. A superstar inherently holds more value. He is recognizable as a marketing tool and sells merchandise and tickets. He gets the team on SportsCenter. He attracts more talent. Yada yada…

…”But you yada yada’d over the best part,”*. No, I mentioned SportsCenter. Certainly, our expectations for the Rockets with Anthony would have to be recalibrated. From a sheer profit perspective, and the Rockets organization is a business trying to maximize margins, adding Carmelo is like onboarding Roger Sterling…he may not do a lot of heavy lifting, but he gets you exposure and sells stuff.

But as a fan, thinking outside a business perspective, I don’t want to lose Kevin Martin. Imagine my relief when Rockets General Manager, Daryl Morey, proclaimed Kevin Martin would not be traded. Do I blindly trust that statement? No, but it is somewhat reassuring. Much like my college buddy, Shively, never minded hearing the words, “I would never,” regarding his sister, a freshman when we were juniors. Of course, one of Shively’s own suitemates shattered that dream.

If the Rockets are not going to part with Martin, I do not see the Nuggets clamoring for the chance to sign our dance card. To acquire Anthony the Rockets could conceivably offer Jared Jeffries, Shane Battier, and a combination of Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger and the Knicks 2011 and 2012 picks. By accepting that, the Nuggets would gain $14,238,200 in expiring contracts, a prospect or two and the allure of high draft picks.

I do believe that defensive specialists on the wing like Battier and Jeffries hold more value after this summer. Serious contending teams like Miami and the Lakers have more than just one perimeter threat that requires special attention. With that in mind, the Nuggets could conceivably package Battier or Jeffries and point guard Chauncey Billups for a trade with a contender (Spurs – Tony Parker, DeJuan Blair, James Anderson and Curtis Jerrels?) to further initiate their rebuilding process.

The Nuggets jumping on that scenario is as unlikely as Paris Hilton opting to flee the United States for Japan. That already happened?

The Nuggets should not be sweating this out just yet. First, they know that Carmelo knows that his contract prospects are adversely affected by the looming lockout. So the Nuggets control the size of Carmelo’s future contract. Second, I question the value of the Knicks’ draft picks the Rockets possess. I do not believe they are worth what the mainstream media has led us to believe. And, yes, that is the subject I was reading into before the Carmelo stuff came back to the fore. The Nets and Knicks, therefore, are able to offer more attractive packages than the Rockets, and both NYC-metro teams are salivating over Carmelo. (The Knicks should be willing to part with Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Randolph for a chance at pairing Amare’ Stoudemire with Carmelo Anthony).

It is a testament to Morey and his staff that the Rockets’ are positioned to offer what was once a second round draft choice for a superstar. I just hope that they don’t do it.

*Seinfeld, “The Yada Yada”

Elaine: “Yeah. I met this lawyer, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, I never heard from him again.”

Jerry: “But you yada yada’d over the best part.”

Elaine: “No, I mentioned the bisque.”

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