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Wizards contacted Denver about Carmelo Anthony

Take it for what it's worth, but the Wizards recently made an obligatory call to the Denver Nuggets to check on the availability of all-star forward Carmelo Anthony, a league source said on Friday. The source added that the Wizards were simply doing their due diligence and that the same phone call was made by "29 teams. Carmelo is pretty good."

Hmm. Me in a Wizards uniform? (Getty Images)

Multiple Internet reports have made it clear that Anthony is looking to move elsewhere. Anthony will earn $17 million in the final year of his deal, but has stalled all summer to sign a $65 million extension with the Nuggets, the only team for which he has played since going third in the 2003 draft.

The likelihood of Anthony returning to play professionally near his home town of Baltimore is on the shady side of slim. Denver has told league executives that it is seeking a package of expiring contracts, future draft picks and young prospects in any deal for its franchise cornerstone.

Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday that Anthony made it clear to owner-in-waiting Josh Kroenke that he wants to leave during a meeting last weekend in Baltimore. The New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as the two most probable destinations, with Anthony's wife, LaLa Vasquez, a former MTV personality, seeking to find a better location to pursue her entertainment career. Yahoo! Sports also mentioned Golden State, Houston and Charlotte as possibilities.

The Wizards have no plans of trading No. 1 overall pick John Wall and no large expiring contracts of note, while the Nuggets have no interest in taking back bad contracts, which rules out shipping Gilbert Arenas and the four years and $80 million left on his deal. If the Wizards were to assemble an attractive package of young players -- excluding Wall -- there likely wouldn't be a team with enough remaining talent to encourage Anthony to sign an extension in Washington.

"I really don't think they know what they are going to do yet," the source said of the Nuggets.

Masai Ujiri was introduced as the Nuggets' executive vice president of basketball operations on Friday and told the Denver Post that he does not want to trade Anthony and would like to meet with him. "I love Melo," Ujiri told the newspaper. "Carmelo is the Denver Nuggets, he's the city of Denver, he's done so well on this team. So we're going to deal with the issue full force."

Ujiri, a former member of the Nuggets scouting department who recently worked for the Toronto Raptors, added that he intends on keeping Anthony in Denver for years to come. "He's a superstar in the league, and that's our priority. We want to keep Melo. We love Melo. That's all I can say."

The Wizards are in the midst of rebuilding around Wall, which kept them from entering the free agency frenzy for LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and others this summer. But while Anthony is an established superstar, he is relatively young at age 26. The three-time all-star is one of the more prolific scorers in the league, with a career average of 24.7 points.

The Nuggets have been in disarray this offseason with the organization deciding not to renew the contracts of vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentein and vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman earlier this month. David Griffin, their first choice take over as general manager, declined the job in a dispute over money. Coach George Karl is also recovering from cancer. And, after getting approval to purchase the St. Louis Rams this week, owner Stan Kroenke was forced to hand over the Nuggets and the NHL's Avalanche to his 30-year-old son, Josh.

Speculation that Anthony wanted out of Denver began to swirl shortly after Chris Paul reportedly made a toast during Anthony's wedding last July about forming a super team with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire with the New York Knicks. Anthony has done little since then to quash the momentum of his possible departure.

By Michael Lee  |  August 27, 2010; 7:12 PM ET
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Next: The latest on Yi Jianlian, Kevin Seraphin's visa and the Wizards


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Posted by: johnstonjo | August 28, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

yeah...this is pretty much no news. But i'm sure it'll get blown out of proportion on this blog.

Posted by: CBell29 | August 28, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Anthony would be a great fit but won't become a Wizard. But they could be involved as part of a 3-4 team trade. They could move Arenas as part of a big deal to free up money. Just can't see Arenas as a long term fit for the team so this might be a way to move him prior to the season opener.

Posted by: rocky123 | August 28, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

He's stalling? No, by todays and yesterdays market, management isn't being quite professional in wanting him. Why even print that kind of asking price for a player on a one year contract. If the Wizards inquired, then the league knows he's likely available.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | August 28, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

The only expiring contract of that magnitude Denver is looking for is Michael Redd of the Bucks. However, i don't see a 3 team trade materializing with nuggets-bucks-washington because 1 we are re-embracing arenas and 2 Teddy wants to build through the Draft.

Posted by: jefferu | August 28, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

This is so amusing... YES we would trade Arenas for Carmelo... Even if Carmelo refused to sign an extention with us... Give me a break!

Posted by: MeviousMan | August 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The way I understand it, the likely outcome is that he signs the extension but then engineers a multi-team trade. Denver could get a lot for Anthony, including a SF and a PG to eventually replace Billups. Probably both vets and a (likely) high draft choice.

To rid themselves of Arenas' contract, I suspect Washington would have to give up too much of value. Sounds like they've decided to roll the dice and play him instead. Maybe he has a good year and they can find a trade partner next season, or around playoff time when somebody always seems to get hurt. I wouldn't count on it, but it's a possibility.

The 2011 class has Harrison Barnes of UNC (SF) and two very good PG candidates in Kyrie Irving (Duke) and Brandon Knight (UK). Other than that you have Baylor's Perry Smith and a bunch of other PF types, several from overseas. Outside of Barnes, there's no obvious wing scorer in the group. It's different from the last class, where you knew Evan Turner and Wes Johnson would be there.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Trading for Mello is unrealistic and does not make sense at this point.

If he becomes an FA next year, then we might have a chance if...

1) Wall plays like the real deal his rookie year

2) We are able to trade Arenas for expiring contracts

3) Blatche & McGee emerge as solid, consistent starters

4) Howard revives himself and wants to stay in DC

5) some combination of Booker, Armstrong, Thornton, Yi, and Young emerge as reliable bench players

6) The wife settles for CW - It's not like MTV is any less of a joke (note- I have never seen her on TV so don't read too much into this part of the comment, I just hate MTV)

Only then would we have a team with cap space and talent that MIGHT be attractive to Mello.

Unfortunately, I see him to more likely to go for the super team in NY. Fine by me, we can just continue to build a young core, which along with the Thunder can beat the big boys with teamwork and defense. Plus, if Mello goes to NY we can swoop in and take Gallinari for a lower price.

Posted by: mcgratsp | August 28, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So it's great that EG cleared out all these players that he signed himself, and had all this cap space, but ended up filling it up by signing the likes of Marriott Armstrong and Josh Howard. Whoopee....we are on the fast track to a championship!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 28, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Washington MIGHT be able to land Melo, but it's a long shot.

Washington has Josh Howard-a 1 year contract.

Al Thornton/Nick Young- Young talent (no pun intended)

A first round draft pick like Kevin Seraphin

A future first round draft pick

That to me is a pretty good deal for Melo. But I guess we might be able to land a 3-4 team trade that includes Arenas somewhere in there.

Posted by: shaureb319 | August 28, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Unless and until Anthony himself says he wants to play for the Wizards, there is zero chance of him being traded here. Even then, the chances would be slim.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

A this point its meaningless speculating. Arenas trade value is very low.
Wall hasn't won rookie of the year yet.
and at least 14 other teams will go all in for him.

Posted by: jefferu | August 28, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The nuggets aren't just looking to move Carmelo...they are looking to clean house by moving JR Smith and Kenyon Martin. That's about $40.5 mil for this season alone. Les BouleS don't have enough salaries to make it work and a Gilby trade is a nonstarter

Only with Gilby can this work.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 28, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Peter John Ramos went for 15 points in a loss to Russia...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 28, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

...and Yi finished with 26 on 60% shooting (didn't take a 3 point shot) in a loss to Greece, which played without its top two centers, who were suspended following a messy brawl in an earlier game.

Yi had a game-high 14 boards, 1 assist, 1 TO, 1 steal, 1 block -- lot of ones there.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 28, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

china really stinks, but even if what Yi does amounts to the "stat padding" many people mention...perhaps being The Man on his team and leaned on heavily every game will carry over to this season in regards to his confidence level on the floor.

Posted by: divi3 | August 28, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather not break the bank for Carmelo Anthony. While he is an amazing individual talent, I'm not sure you can build a championship team with him as the centerpiece.

Posted by: segastyle | August 29, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

26 and 14 on a terrible team...and the commentary is...I see a lot of 1s. (1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk and 1 turnover)


Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 29, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"26 and 14 on a terrible team...and the commentary is...I see a lot of 1s. (1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk and 1 turnover)Seriously?
Posted by: SDMDTSU"

Not really a criticism, just a comment on the consistency of the number.

I imagine that with both of the Greek big men suspended, the idea was to leave Yi inside, which they did. Not enough, obviously.

The interesting result yesterday was France over defending champ Spain, which had Marc but not Pau Gasol.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

By the way, the US beat Slovenia an hour ago, 99-77, a game that wasn't as close as it sounds. US up by 20+ most of the way. Kevin Love had a big performance off the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Stop with the Yi post no one cares except for maybe the shop owners in chinatown.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Stop with the Yi post no one cares except for maybe the shop owners in chinatown.
Posted by: dargregmag"

Yi just scored another 26 in a victory over traditional powerhouse Ivory Coast...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why Carmelo in Washington Works

Any time an article starts with "Take it for it's worth," you can rest assured that what's to follow probably is worth only a grain of a salt, if that, but a recent piece by the Washington Post's Michael Lee suggesting that the Wizards have officially inquired about the availability of Carmelo Anthony is more than a little intriguing.

Of course, the fact that the Wizards made a phone call about Melo is hardly news—28 other teams have undoubtedly made that phone call, too—but the fact that Anthony grew up less than an hour away in Baltimore, and that the team would be left with some really interesting pieces even after trading away half their team to lure Anthony in makes this particular destination one of the more interesting ones.

Understand that Washington isn't trading first overall pick John Wall, and no team in their right mind is absorbing four years and $80 million worth of Gilbert Arenas, but there are still a few things they could do to match Melo's $17+ million salary for 2011.

A deal could eventually be made starting with Kirk Hinrich as the major chunk of salary (he's only got two years left on his deal, the second of which is a reasonable $8 million), but by throwing in Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee, you'd start to have a deal that at least looked as interesting as anything else being thrown out there by the Knicks or Nets.

A trade like that, however, leaves the Wiz pretty much vacant in the frontcourt, but with a core of Anthony, Wall, and Arenas you'd likely see veteran free agents lining up to snag the vet's minimum to be part of what could potentially be a championship team with the right pieces around it.

While it may not leave the team with a whole lot, it very well could be enough to catapult the Wiz into one of the top four spots in the Eastern Conference with the right free agent pieces to put around those guys. It's a longshot, but it may not be Anthony's worst suitor, especially with the hometown connection he's got to the D.C. area.

Posted by: suliman215 | August 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, because that "hometown connection" was so important to Chicago getting Wade, Dallas getting Bosh, Cleveland keeping James (to say nothing of the Raptors getting Nash when he was a FA last summer). Besides, why do we need Anthony? It's only a matter of time before Durant comes home.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 29, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I dont think 'Melo is so good that you want to trade two under-25 7footers for him while talking about young talent and building through the draft.

And as much as some people rag on AB and JM, cant forget that EG picked them and I'd bet the last thing he's going to do is trade them just as ABs potential seems to be materializing and there is a league-wide buzz about Mcgee.

Posted by: divi3 | August 29, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"Stop with the Yi post no one cares except for maybe the shop owners in chinatown.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse "

You mean the owners of Fuddruckers, Sei, Legal Seafood, Hooters, Fado, Starbucks, Lucky Strike, Clydes, McDonalds, etc.?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 29, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The hometown connection aspect is definitely overblown. It assumes people want to come back to the place they grew up. In my high school class, about half stayed close to home, the other half got as far away as they could. Unless Melo says something about wanting to play close to home, no point in assuming it's a positive factor. Does he have a home here? Does he come back to B-More or DC a lot in the offseason?

Plus, even using suliman's optimistic trade proposal (not sure why Denver would go for that), it would strip the team pretty bare. And I think he's overselling the idea that guys who line up to sign for the vet minimum or close to it to play with Wall, Arenas and Melo.

Posted by: ts35 | August 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Melo could well engineer a move to the Knicks next offseason as they still have cap space and are one of the teams where Chris Paul is looking to be traded. A Big Thee of Melo-Stoudemire-Paul could make the Knicks an instant contender plus satisfy some of Melo's other requirements about being in a big media market. Don't discount that he's seen what D. Wade and LeBron put together this summer and he'll be the marquis free agent next summer. He could easily have a 2nd tier free agent join him in any of a number of places.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 31, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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