Carmelo Anthony is set on becoming a free agent from the Denver Nuggets. Anthony made the official announcement that he won’t be signing a contract extension with the Nuggets, and that will make him the big fish in the 2011 NBA free agent market. This isn’t surprising news, but it is the first time that Anthony has finally made the official statement that he would probably be done with his playing days in Denver.
According to ESPN, Anthony officially acknowledged that he doesn’t intend to sign a contract extension. He also stated that, “I feel it’s a time for change.” That’s a pretty telling statement right there, and it could force Denver to finally show their hand when it comes to their future plans for the franchise. Denver could be one of the favorites in the Western Conference this season if they keep that team intact, but it could also mean getting nothing in return for Anthony at the end of the season.
Denver has to make the difficult decision as to whether playing for this season is more important than protecting the future of the franchise. Keeping Anthony would just about guarantee that the Denver Nuggets make the NBA Playoffs this season and potentially make another run at the Western Conference Finals. Or Denver could decide to find the best package out there for Anthony right now and make the trade happen as soon as possible. Either option comes with risks, so the Nuggets brass has a lot to think about.
The 2010-11 Denver Nuggets are a pretty good basketball team, and they showed that in their 2010 NBA debut against the Utah Jazz. On Wednesday night, Anthony started at small forward for the Nuggets, playing 36 minutes and scoring 23 points on the night. He also had seven rebounds and three assists to help the Nuggets on the way to their 110-88 win over Utah. It was an impressive way to open the season, and indeed shows that the Nuggets could be very good if they could just keep this roster intact.
There are going to be a lot of sharks in the water now that Anthony has finally come clean about not wanting to play in Denver anymore, and it means we will probably hear many new Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. The Nuggets play again on Friday, as Anthony goes up against his friend Chris Paul when Denver plays the New Orleans Hornets. It should continue to be a great advertisement for what Anthony can do on the court, and may serve to even increase his trade value.