The Sixers In Middle Of Carmelo Anthony Sweepstakes?76ers, Eastern Conference, NBA, News, Western Conference Saturday, September 18th, 2010
A story I read on CBSSportsline.com the other day appears to be flying under the radar in the Delaware Valley and to be quite honest, I don’t understand why. For those that missed it, according to Ken Berger, the Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to be players in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Yes, you read that correctly. However their involvement, if any, is still semi-unclear. At first, Berger goes on talking about a possible three team deal for Anthony. New Jersey and Philadelphia are the two teams mentioned as possible players. Naturally, your first question would be “Who is getting Melo?” Well the answer to that question would be New Jersey.
According to Berger’s story, Denver would ship Anthony to the Nets, putting him close to the New York market. New Jersey would then send the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, Derrick Favors to Philadelphia and the Sixers would ship Andre Iguodala to Denver. Although the Sixers would lose out on Melo, they would get a rookie that has a lot of hype built around him. The move would also allow the Sixers to inch closer to exiting salary cap hell. Also, remember new team president Rod Thorn drafted Favors, so if any three way deal happens, he will most likely insist Favors be apart of the deal.
However, Berger does go over another scenario that would eliminate the Nets and have Melo come to Philly. In order for the Sixers to be able to take on Melo’s salary, guys like Jason Kapono and Willie Green (both have expiring contracts) would most likely be dealt. Unfortunately, that is not good enough for a guy like Melo. So the Sixers would have to add a young player like Thaddeus Young and/or Andre Iguodala to the deal. If Denver does not want both Young and Iguodala, the Sixers could possibly entertain swapping one of them out and replacing them with No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner if it meant getting Anthony.
Now to some, that may seem like a pretty steep price for one guy, but this isn’t your average guy. He is a bona fide top five player in the NBA and he is still in his prime.
Let’s say the Nuggets go for the deal that includes both Young and Iguodala. The Sixers projected starting lineup for opening night would be: Jrue Holiday, Turner, Anthony, Elton Brand, and Marreese Speights. That’s not a bad lineup to have. Yeah, it’s not what Miami or Boston has, but it’s definitely a playoff team/upcoming squad.
But in order for the Sixers to even risk trading for Melo, they would have to be sure he would sign an extension to remain with the team after this season. We’ve all heard the rumors about him wanting to play in New York and how the Nets are moving there. We also heard about his desire to play in Houston. But what we don’t know is if he would want to play in Philly.
Well here are a few things that may attract Melo. First, despite giving up so much to get Melo, the team would still have some pretty good young talent. Turner, Holiday, and Speights are definitely selling pieces. Throw in a coach like Doug Collins, who also coached Michael Jeffrey Jordan, and suddenly the Sixers aren’t such a bad team to join.
You also have guys like Brand, Andres Nocioni, and Louis Williams that are capable of contributing on a consistent basis. So, it’s not like Anthony would be coming to a team that will be a constant cellar dweller. And say what you want about Brand, but the veteran still has some life in him, and would work well with Melo.
Second, thanks to Iverson, the Sixers and the city of Philadelphia have shown that it’s possible to be a mega star in this market. Yes, Philly may lack some of the glitz and glamour that cities like New York and L.A. may have, but the market is big enough for a sports athlete to land national sponsorships, etc.
Lastly, as minuscule as this may sound, Philly is halfway between New York (his birthplace) and the Baltimore, MD area (where he grew up). Believe it or not he may care about something as simple as that.
To be honest, the chances of either deal happening are slim. If I had to pick which one I felt had a stronger chance of happening, I’d select the first one rather than the second. My reasoning is very simple, landing Melo would be an early Christmas gift sent down from the sports gods and what are the chances of them blessing this franchise with such a great gift? However, I must admit, it’s very refreshing hearing the Sixers name being mentioned in moves of this stature. I guess that means good times are coming for the Sixers and the city of Philadelphia.
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