Just as Chris Paul's moment in the sun fades out, Carmelo Anthony's, surely by no coincidence, begins.
The same old "sources with knowledge of the situation" are at it again, and the parallels between these two fellows in possession of a common first initial and a first name masquerading as a last name are intriguing. Behold:
A series of toasts at the wedding reception, initiated by New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, suggested Anthony leave Denver for the New York Knicks. Paul suggested it playfully, one source said, but subsequent guests -- including Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire and Anthony's brother, Robert -- made the point more forcefully.
Then Kroenke stood up to give a toast and the room was filled with an awkward silence, one wedding guest said. Kroenke tried to make light of the situation by suggesting Paul could come to Denver but that elicited no response.
We're barely out of the woods on a similar sort of thing ourselves, so I wouldn't go so far as to laugh out loud. But I will laugh electronically- ha ha- certainly. We still don't know even know if that whole wedding toast thing was real (though I know Chris Paul has denied saying he wanted to go to NY via said toastage). After the jump, some New Orleanian implications.
Actually, scratch that. There aren't many implications, Hornet wise. If Denver wants to trade C.K. Anthony this very moment, Dell Demps and associates may as well sit out the proceedings. Unless Quincy Pondexter and Emeka Okafor are held in high esteem by Denverians, and though I have never been there I will venture that it is unlikely, New Orleans will be outbid.
Instead, we would be better served to sit on the sidelines, amusedly pointing out the similarities to the Chris Paul Fiasco while crossing our fingers that said Fiasco is over.
The thing that stands out most, obviously, is Denver's relative lack of leverage. Carmelo, if he stays, appears a lock to opt out next summer. Perhaps I'm underselling the Nugget roster, but it doesn't exactly appear loaded with young talent. Besides Ty Lawson (and I suppose, J.R. Smith at an old 25), the team consists of veterans. So my assumption is that the same second round playoff appearance that could refresh Chris Paul's New Orleans hopes might do little to nothing for Carmelo Anthony's Denver ones.
The second intriguing thing is the value of potential return being floated for Anthony. In Andrew Feinstein's latest story at SBNation's Nuggets blog (which is also a good read re: the whole leverage angle, this most easily discerned from its title Leverage), he offers up such scenarios as "Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon" or "Brook Lopez and Devin Harris." Now granted, I don't think the Nets or Clippers, disrespectively, would give up that much, but the overall point is that Carmelo Anthony will command almost as return as Chris Paul. For a player that's really not even worth a max. contract, that's rather amusing. It either shows how much of Chris Paul's game people have forgotten, how overrated Anthony is, or most likely, a little of both.
In the end, maybe this is all bogus, the product of an easily swayed public and its overeager sway inducers having had their Chris Paul so rudely snatched away from them. Me, I'm just waiting for a buzzed Kevin Durant to be toasted by a wasted Tyreke Evans, circa 2013.