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Monday, April 23, 2018

Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers Could Mean Many Future Championships

Carmelo Anthony made it clear over the summer that he wants out of Denver and that he won’t sign a contract extension with the team. As a result, the Nuggets have reportedly been discussing a potential trade all season long. We’ve heard about 17-player deals that never materialized, a four-team trade that was supposed to go down, yet Melo is still in Denver and dropping 50 points in a game. On Tuesday, things changed when word emerged that the Nuggets were talking with the Lakers about a potential trade that would involve Andrew Bynum.

If the Denver Nuggets trade Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA has no hope of crowning a new champion. Miami? Done. Boston? Not a chance. San Antonio? Remember the Alamo, because it might bring a semblance  of solace. Imagine Kobe Bryant running the wing opposite one of the only players in the world who is as prolific in all-around offense. Then you have Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, two of the biggest match-up nightmares in the league, combined with a five-time champion point guard in Derek Fisher. Haters can hate all they want, but even if the Lakers declined to take the court on defense they would still be able to waltz into the Western Conference Finals.

The Knicks are waiting too long in the gun fight to draw their pistol, and it seems that the Lakers are a dangerous horse in the race. And essentially, all they would have to give up is an injury-prone (albeit talented) center in Andrew Bynum to a team who already has a quality center in Nene. LA has grown somewhat accustomed to life without Big Drew, so trading him would be just like losing him to injury for the season, a scenario they have already faced in 2007-08 when they STILL made the NBA Finals.

So if all comes to fruition, the talking heads will say that Carmelo Anthony’s baggage will disrupt team harmony and doom Los Angeles into mediocre oblivion. But this has been said before about Ron Artest, the hero of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. And though Artest never looked truly comfortable in the triangle offense, his behavior was hardly a distraction. On the contrary, his personality seemed to bring an element of toughness to a largely finesse team. Besides, playing for the Lakers is like being in a marriage. You get bored, you stop listening sometimes and you get stuck in ruts. Sometimes a little spontaneity and some spice in the bedroom perks things up and you happily make it to the next anniversary. Carmelo could be that spice.

The real question would be why the Nuggets would ever trade a player like Melo to a top-tier team in their own conference. The problem is that Melo is going to be a free agent and is unlikely to re-sign with Denver. The Nuggets are looking to get the best haul possible in return for trading Melo before he hits the free agent market.

If Carmelo Anthony happens to fall for Hollywood and vice-versa, the Lakers will have found their heir apparent to Kobe Bryant, and they will have created a doomsday device that endangers every team in the NBA. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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