5 – He wants to play in New York – With New Jersey pulling out of the proposed four-team trade that would have brought Melo to the Nets, it is obvious that Anthony is hesitant to head to the swamp. He has enough star power to force this deal through if he really wanted to. Rumor has it that Melo is holding out hope that the Knicks will make a last ditch attempt to put a package together to get him to the Big Apple. He played his college ball (and won a championship) at Syracuse, his new wife La La was a former MTV VJ and newly signed Knick Amare Stoudamire is openly telling anyone who will listen that the Knicks will have their own dream team of himself, Melo, and another free-agent-to be San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker in the near future.
4 – No supporting cast – The “blockbuster” trade that wasn’t would have put Anthony on New Jersey with only center Robin Lopez as the only other player of substance at the moment. Gone in the proposed deal would have been no.3 overall pick Derrick Favors and All-Star point guard Devin Harris. Last I checked Robin Lopez is no Stoudamire, not yet at least.
3 – The Decision – Carmelo saw LeBron take his talents to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat. That is three of the top five picks (James #1, Bosh #4, Wade #5) in the same 2003 NBA Draft that he was in (Anthony was the #3 pick). Melo doesn’t feel his supporting cast in Denver matches up in star power and he wants to get in on a friendly rivalry of “Big Three” teams which makes New York or Chicago very attractive destinations. No word if he is going to join Darko Milicic (the no.2 pick in the 2003 draft and colossal NBA bust to this point) any time soon.
2 – Denver still wants him – It was also reported that the Nuggets had cold feet when it came to pulling the trigger on the four-team trade that would have sent Melo to New Jersey because they believe they can still get Melo to sign the 3-year $65 million dollar extension they have on the table right now. With the current collective bargaining agreement coming to an end after this season it is not guaranteed that Carmelo will see this type of money again in a long term deal. The Nuggets have pulled out the stops in a last ditch effort to convince Anthony to stay put beyond this season. They risk losing him for nothing after the season when he becomes a free agent, but that is a risk they are willing to take.
1 – The love of the game – don’t expect trade rumors and his alleged desire to leave Denver to affect Anthony’s play. He reported to camp on time and in uniform ready to go. Melo is not a player who will sulk or hold out on his team to force their hand. He stated as much in an ESPN interview where he said he would “never disrespect the game of basketball by not giving 100% no matter what team (he is) on” or his contract situation. Now if New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis would have had that mentality he would not be nursing a bad hamstring.