There comes a point where enough is enough and that point could come tonight, tomorrow or Feb. 24.
For the second time in 3 ½ months, the Nets and Nuggets were this-close on a blockbuster deal that would bring Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. And for the second time in 3 ½ months, there is no agreement.
Both times it has been Denver’s call.
It should be, of course. They’re dealing the best player in the trade.
The Nuggets have every right to wait it out as long as possible to make sure they get everything they want back for Anthony. But it seems like the Nets have tried to get Denver everything it wanted in every scenario they’ve presented.
The latest, that could still get completed, is a three-team, 14-player trade that could increase to 16 players, not including draft picks. It’s a good deal for all parties involved.
The teams, that is. Not necessarily the players.
We say that because the players are the ones who have to be moved because one superstar, Carmelo Anthony, is disgruntled and wants to change addresses. So Chauncey Billups probably isn’t happy he’s a part of this deal or Devin Harris or Anthony Morrow or Derrick Favors.
But from a team standpoint, the Nets are getting what they want, the Nuggets what they want and the Pistons what they want.
Obviously the Nets want Anthony. They have for months, have tried to get him for months, have put together numerous packages for Denver to consider and involved numerous teams.
In this deal, they would get Anthony, Billups, Richard Hamilton, Anthony Carter, Shelden Williams and DaJuan Summers. The last three are guys who fit under the cap and fill out the roster. The first three are the pieces that matter for now and the future.
Anthony gives them a star and someone who could –- could -– help them attract Chris Paul in 2012 or before then. Billups gives the Nets a veteran leader they need who hits big shots and can galvanize teams. Hamilton is one of the better mid-range shooters in the game. You have to pay attention to him.
The presence of these three players -– especially Anthony -– would open things up for Brook Lopez. He’s facing double and sometimes triple-teams and not having the season everyone has expected.
Denver gets Harris, Favors, Morrow, Stephen Graham, Quinton Ross, Ben Uzoh and two first-round picks. The Nuggets get young players, picks, expiring contracts and trim salary.
But they want more salary-cap relief from the Nets.
Detroit gets Troy Murphy’s expiring contract and Johan Petro. The Pistons get the least, but are getting more because they want to cut payroll since they’re in the middle of being sold. They would save between $17 million and $18 million by doing this.
It seems to work for everyone, but the Nuggets want more and so everyone is dancing again, waiting to hear, ‘You’ve got a deal.’
No one knows when those words are going to be said. Many thought it would have been last night. It was heading in that direction, but didn’t get there. Not yet. It's hard to imagine this drags on to the Feb. 24 trade deadline, but it could.
Either way, it makes it tough for everyone to go back to work. The Nuggets practiced today and Anthony took part. The Nets practiced and everyone except Morrow (strained hamstring) and Murphy took part. Murphy wasn’t there. The official word was he’s sick.
Sick of this, probably. But plenty of people are.
The Nets have to be. They have worked so hard putting potential deals together and no team has had their players out in the media. It’s affected the Nets on the court, despite what they’re saying.
It’s also starting to affect the Nuggets. They’ve lost their last three games by 42 points.
That’s why you have to believe enough will have to be enough soon enough.
Follow me on Twitter: @Al_Iannazzone
Al Iannazzone covers the Nets for The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)