Posted by Sean Doyle, January 19, 2011.
Image Courtesy of Romanian Graffiti.
And so, the bold journey concludes. New Jersey is no longer pursuing Carmelo Anthony. This awkward one-sided affair had to end sooner or later. After turning down the amorous flirtations of a Russian billionaire for several weeks now, Melo has decided that his wandering heart only belongs to one tri-state franchise. The Nets confirmed this today when owner Mikhail Prokhorov declared the potential deal dead. "There comes a time when a prize is simply too expensive. I am instructing our team to walk away from the deal, and the meeting that was supposed to be held by our management in Denver with Carmelo is hereby canceled," announced Prokhorov this evening. Thank God! Melo didn't want to play in Newark, or break ground in the hoops holy land of Brooklyn. He only craves the luminous glow of Broadway.
So what is next? Do the Bulls hop back into it as some have suggested? Will Worldwide Wes steer Melo to Chi-Town to hook up with his boy Tom Thibodeau? Chicago won't part with Joakim Noah (which is absolutely the right play as franchise centers who double as the heart of your team are rarer than a good trade by Isiah Thomas). Will Luol Deng and a draft pick get it done?
When the hyperbole abates, I do think Carmelo wants to suit up in MSG. With that kind of unique leverage I hope Donnie Walsh doesn't gut our team to get him. Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields are two of our best young pieces and I'd hate to lose them to Denver. Especially considering Melo wants to sign here anyway, and we have the cap space to accommodate him. The next few days should be extremely interesting.