For Carmelo Anthony, patience would have been wise. While his wife may have had more to do with Melo’s move from Denver to New York, it is apparent that one of the league’s best scorers left Denver at the wrong time. While Anthony struggles with a Knicks roster that’s four main faces play different types of basketball, the apocalypse he left in Denver has won six more games in a better conference.
While the Nuggets have their issues, the work of General Manager Masai Ujiri and President Josh Kroenke speaks for itself. The two took the reins two summers ago when the Nuggets blew up their leadership team, which included Rex Chapman and Mark Warkentein.. The day after they took the executive offices, Anthony asked for a trade.
The effects of the trade changed the make up of the roster drastically by adding Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufus, Andre Miller (for Raymond Felton), Timofey Mosgov and somewhere in contract limbo, Wilson Chandler. But it’s the peripheral moves that Anthony should have watched out for. He could have competed for a championship in Denver.
Al Harrington was brought in to give Melo help two years ago. Melo was not pleased with the deal and Harrington had a tough year battling various injuries. This year Harrington is an integral part of the Nuggets bench and provides energy, three pointers and scoring when the Nuggets need it. He’s averaging 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.
The Nuggets draft picks, Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton, are going to be big time contributors for the Nuggets. Faried’s energy is already having a huge impact with his rebound and dunking ability. Faried has 6.8 rebounds a game with 8.6 points. Hamilton does not play very much but has provided another scoring option when called upon.
In training camp the Nuggets also added Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer. While Fernandez looked to be the staple of the deal, he has struggled shooting threes but is prized for his defense. Corey Brewer, who was seen as a throw in player, is perhaps the Nuggets best weapon off the bench. He hustles on defense, grabs rebounds and soars for the dunk when necessary.
With rumors once again swirling about Melo wanting out of his current team, he only needs to look backward to see what he missed. Ujiri and Kroenke are making all of the right moves. The team that went to the 2009 NBA Western Conference Finals seemed to be only a couple pieces away from challenging again. Melo’s best shot at a championship was in Denver.