With every day that passes, Denver's bargaining position in Carmelo Anthony trade talks becomes a bit more precarious. Melo doesn't want to be there, he's made that clear, and at some point he's going to become even more of a distraction. Another rumor broke last night regarding the Knicks and a mystery third team. It's possible the Sixers are that third team.
Here's the key portion of the rumor:
The offers the Knicks have proposed have always centered around packages including Anthony Randolph, the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and a first-round draft pick they would acquire from a third team, and New York has softened its stance on including forward Danilo Gallinari in a trade.
The most recent obstacle, according to the source, was for the Knicks to use one of those assets, likely Randolph or Gallinari, to acquire a player from a third team that the Nuggets value more highly than either of the Knicks forwards. The source said that obstacle can now be overcome, with the Knicks confident they can get their hands on a player the Nuggets would prefer.
Since I'm in a rotten sports frame of mind anyway, I'm going to jump to a pair of conclusions here, for argument's sake: (1) The player the Nuggets would prefer is Andre Iguodala. Their interest in AI9 has been reported a couple of times, now. (2) The package the Sixers would get in return would include Danilo Gallinari.
There are several ways you could make a three-team deal work involving the Knicks, Sixers and Denver. One variation would have JR Smith and Chris Anderson joining Danilo in Philly. Another would see Anthony Randolph coming to Philly with Danilo. Still another, pie-in-the-sky scenario would have Kenyon Martin's enormous expiring deal swapped in for Elton Brand (though that one would be an extremely tough sell). Bottom line, any deal centered around Gallinari would serve a couple of purposes for the Sixers: (1) They'd add a top-notch shooter to their perimeter group of Jrue and Turner. A shooter who is only 22 and contributes in other areas besides just shooting (plus, he rarely takes long twos, which I like). (2) The team would be worse this season, meaning a higher draft pick, plus cap space sooner.
The downside: I don't see anyway the Sixers would wind up with an extra draft pick that has any value in the deal, and Anthony Randolph is probably the most-talented big who could possibly be included. In my mind, he isn't exactly a game-changer.
I do think Gallinari would be a good fit, but the Knicks are stripped so bare, I just don't think any deal is really going to move the needle all that much for the Sixers in the long run. If Rod Thorn decides it's time to pull the plug and really start from scratch, a move like this would be a step in that direction, but not all that meaningful of a step if they can't figure out a way to include Brand's contract in the deal.
What do you guys think? Would you like the big Italian at the three for the next decade? Is he, alone, worth moving Iguodala?