Ken Berger of CBSSports, who’s followed the Carmelo Anthony trade story as closely as anyone, reports the Nuggets are still trying to gauge how competitive they could be if they decide against trading their 26-year-old franchise cornerstone:
The next two weeks will be telling, with five games against teams that made the playoffs in the West last season – Dallas (twice), the Lakers, Suns and Trail Blazers. Rival executives have speculated that in some ways, [Masai] Ujiri’s job becomes more difficult if the Nuggets get off to a strong start. If that happens, it will be exponentially more difficult to sell an Anthony trade to the paying customers.
Indeed, taking a long-term view, losing might prove beneficial to the Nuggets in the season’s first few months, given how difficult trading Anthony in the midst of a playoff race is to justify to Denver’s fans. Through three games, Denver is 2-1
Berger notes, rather importantly, that the Nets, Knicks, and the rest of the NBA are “in limbo,” as far as Anthony trades are concerned, until Dec. 15. At that time, teams may trade players they signed as free agents this summer, which will “flood the market” with “tradeable assets.”