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Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Nuggets improve without Melo

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

No one in Denver dares to just say it, so I guess I will.

Carmelo Anthony isn’t that great.

If I were the Lakers, for instance, I wouldn’t trade Lamar Odom for him, and Odom doesn’t even start. The Bulls flat out told the Nuggets they wouldn’t part with Joakim Noah, a tall skinny guy who can’t shoot.



Melo is a fine scorer, I’ll give him that. But for all his athletic prowess, he’s disappointing as a rebounder. He can pass, but that ain’t exactly his first or second or third choice when he gets the ball, if you get my drift.

As for defense, let’s put it this way: Melo is 6-8 and 26 years old. I’m 5-11 and 53. I’m positive that in a critical moment at the end of a game, if I had the ball, Melo would promptly foul me, sending me to the line for a chance to win. Me.



And I’m not even any good for 53.

That’s how much of a liability this guy is on defense.

Let’s put this another way: Dude sucks on D. And he underachieves at every other part of the game except chucking up shots. He’s a more athletic Kiki Vandeweghe is all.



Make that trade that brings Andrei Kirilenko AND rookie big man Derek Favors to the Nuggets.

If the 76ers are foolish enough to part with Andre Iguodala, take it. So much the better if you can tease a couple of other decent players out of the deal.

Melo ain’t all that.

Too bad, because his best chance at postseason glory remains in Denver. The Nets, Sixers, Bulls or Knicks won’t get any closer to a championship with him than the Nuggets.

J.R. Smith has more ability, though he’s even more of a knucklehead. Nene is more valuable if he could just quit passing up shots he should take. Chauncey Billups is the real leader and best player.

Unload Melo and I’ll bet these guys shine brighter.

You know the defense will suddenly improve. The ol’ addition by subtraction theory will prove out here.

What I’m really saying is that losing Carmelo Anthony to his whims is not the worst thing that could happen to the Nuggets. It might be the best.

He couldn’t get them past the opening round in the playoffs in six of his seven years here. It was much more Billups than Melo who delivered them to the doorstep of the championships before the Lakers finally edged them out two years ago.

Trade him now, before the league comes to its senses. A couple of solid players, a couple of good draft picks.

It will be a steal. For the Nuggets.

Let Melo be the Derrick Coleman of our times with the Nets.

It will only make Denver a better team.


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