The Nuggets haven’t yet placed All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony on the trade block. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that Denver is not close to trading Anthony.
"That status could certainly change before NBA teams open training camps later this month, should [general manager Masai] Ujiri prove unsuccessful in his forthcoming attempt(s) to convince Anthony to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension that the Nuggets, right around the June draft, believed Melo was on the verge of accepting," Stein wrote.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s strategic denial.
The Denver Nuggets are attempting to regain leverage over the Carmelo Anthony situation by ‘refusing’ all trade offers. The Nuggets are telling potential suitors they aren’t moving Anthony.
This is smart. The Anthony situation was out of control. The gossip mongers were having a field day. With so much speculation, the club couldn’t get anything near equal value in a trade.
Make no mistake about it, Anthony will be traded. Not today. Not tomorrow. But something will happen before February’s trade deadline.
It has to.
Anthony can, and apparently will, opt-out of his contract next summer and become a free agent. He’s prepared to leave, pick a new team, and the Nuggets will get nothing for their best player.
Rookie Denver GM Masai Ujiri can’t take this risk and will move Anthony before February’s deadline. However, he also can’t wrap his franchise face in a bow and give him away this summer like opposing GMs are hoping.
Today’s denials are about gaining leverage and time, so the Nuggets can eventually cut the best deal possible for Anthony. Sounds like denial is a sound strategy.
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