Almost a quarter of the way into the season, the Denver Nuggets aren’t exactly world-beaters. We’ve read that part of the reason they haven’t traded ‘Melo yet is because they hope to convince him to stay by making a serious push in the playoffs.
Well the Nuggs are 10-6 which is OK I guess but not enough to convince ‘Melo that they are for real, especially since that record has them situated at 6th place in a competitive West.
It’s been surmised by Tommy Dee over on The Knicks Blog that perhaps the Nuggets are intent to move ‘Melo to the Nets for Derek Favors among other things but that they want to make sure that any draft picks that may come their way from the Nets are cemented in the lottery, which would be a lot more likely if the Nets were ‘Melo-less until February.
(Not surprisingly a national writer in the person of Chris Mannix took the credit for this theory:
Interesting supplementary theory supplied by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix: Denver might be merely delaying a deal with New Jersey in an attempt to ensure that the Nets’ pick is as high as possible, given that sending Melo to the Nets in, say, December would give them too much time to pull away from the upper reaches of the lottery.
Also not the first time Mannix bit Tommy, whose sources indicated that Mikhail Prokhorov may select Ettore Messina as coach before the Nets ultimately settled on Avery Johnson. Compare:
A source close to the Nets says that, should Prokhorov’s 80 percent ownership of the Nets go through, the Russian will have a heavy hand in selecting the team’s next head coach. He is primed to make Ettore Messina the first European head coach in NBA history.
With Mannix’s subsequent:
Prokhorov’s wallet also means the Nets won’t have to look for a coach on the sale rack. Ettore Messina, Europe’s Larry Brown who coached Prokhorov’s CSKA Moscow club for four years, has been linked to the Nets.
Mannix should just write for SNY under Tommy’s tutelage methinks.)
But I digress. The issue at hand here is none of this ‘Melo speculation is meaningful until ‘Melo indicates he would play for them. And I haven’t heard anyone indicate with any kind of gravity that he would.