Report: Wizards talk to Nuggets about trading for Carmelo Anthony

The headline will probably cause you to freak out a bit, but don't.  According to Michael Lee, the Wizards did indeed call up the Nuggets and explore a way to trade for disgruntled star Carmelo Anthony.  That much is true.

However, it doesn't sound like the talks got too far.

Take it for what it's worth, but the Wizards recently made an obligatory call to the Denver Nuggets to check on the availability of all-star forward Carmelo Anthony, a league source said on Friday. The source added that the Wizards were simply doing their due diligence and that the same phone call was made by "29 teams. Carmelo is pretty good."    

It sounds like the problem is exactly the problem we discussed a couple weeks back: the Wizards just don't have the right mix of pieces to trade back to Denver. 

The likelihood of Anthony returning to play professionally near his home town of Baltimore is on the shady side of slim. Denver has told league executives that it is seeking a package of expiring contracts, future draft picks and young prospects in any deal for its franchise cornerstone.

[...]

The Wizards have no plans of trading No. 1 overall pick John Wall and no large expiring contracts of note, while the Nuggets have no interest in taking back bad contracts, which rules out shipping Gilbert Arenas and the four years and $80 million left on his deal.   

This was one consequence of the Kirk Hinrich trade.  The Wizards took on the extra year of Hinrich's salary seemingly because they would rather have a player with some on-court utility and a longer contract than a player with an expiring contract, but no on-court value.  Denver is looking to completely rebuild with a trade, and therefore, Hinrich's on-court value means little to them.  If Hinrich had an expiring contract, the Wizards could put together an enticing package, potentially including some combination of Hinrich, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Al Thornton and draft picks. But he doesn't, and that makes things tough.

In other words, while it's nice to see the Wizards doing their due diligence, don't get your hopes up that Anthony somehow makes his way to D.C. this year.   

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