At This Rate, Carmelo Anthony Will Be Traded in 2023

'Melo trade keeps hitting snags on the way to completion

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    If you've ever played in a fantasy sports league of any stripe, you've doubtlessly run into an owner who was impossible to deal with when it came to making a trade.

    You know the type. They refuse to counter an offer with thoughts of their own or dismiss your request for information about what they're looking for in a deal. They agree to the framework of a trade on Wednesday, then come back Thursday and ask for another player in return for making the deal. And then, after you finally get fed up and cut off trade talks, they turn around and deal the player for a lesser package to one of the other teams in the league.

    The Nuggets are playing that role for the NBA. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported late Monday night that Denver told the Nets that they wouldn't deal Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks if they don't close down on leaks about the ongoing trade discussions. That's pretty ballsy of a team that appeared to agree to a deal shortly before turning around and asking the Nets to take on four years and $28 million of Al Harrington.

    That's not the way serious people get deals done. We should have known that, however. Serious people don't give Al Harrington four-year, $28 million contracts in the first place.

    The Nuggets executives -- president Josh Kroenke and general manager Masai Ujiri -- are new on the job and don't want to wind up looking foolish when the music finally stops. That's understandable, but nothing will make them look more foolish than being left without a dance partner come the February 24th trade deadline. 

    They have refused to talk to the Knicks because they don't have the assets they want, but then refuse to tell the Knicks what they want so that the Knicks can try to make it happen. What reason could they have for that other than refusing to let Anthony go where he wants to go? Sounds childish, but we're talking about a team that just threatened to trade Anthony to the Knicks out of spite.

    If the Nets had any spine, they'd pull their chips from the table and walk away until or unless the Nuggets get their act together. They don't have that kind of spine, though. They reek of desperation borne from Mikhail Prokhorov's big talk and can't pull back from making a bad trade because of it.

    That's not a recipe for any kind of success, although this whole bizarre scenario has left us wondering if there is actually anyone involved who cares that the point to all of this is supposed to be winning basketball games.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.