It's crazy to see how time flies around the NBA. But it's crazier to think that, had things gone a little different, the complete course of the league could've been entirely different from what it is nowadays.
And, now that we've reached the 10th anniversary of the huge blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, we couldn't think of a better example of that.
For starters, it's crazy to think that it's been 10 years already. That happened before LeBron James won his first ring, before the Golden State Warriors' dynasty, and long before the NBA bubble. Also, it seems like that move could've changed the course of the league for good.
Talking about that trade with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski for The Woj Pod, Carmelo confessed that, not only he was never supposed to suit up for the Nuggets that season but also that he was pretty close to joining Kobe Bryant in the Los Angeles Lakers or Deron Williams in the Utah Jazz:
"So, in my mind (...) I don't want to be a part of a rebuild. I don't want to be rebuilding in my seventh season in the NBA, so, if you guys want to rebuild; cool, but let's work something out. And that's the conversation we had in July. So, fast-forward to the beginning of the season and I have to go back to Denver, that was never supposed to happen. I was never supposed to step foot in Denver prior to media day. So I go back to media day, and I'm like 'Hey, I'm here, I'm here to play, whatever it is, it is'. Then we get to the All-Star weekend and everybody's like 'Where's he going?' (...) and I think Denver was feeling a lot of pressure (...) they wanted to send me to Utah. They had deals with Utah on the table with, like, Derrick Favors and somebody else. And there was a Lakers deal also on the table, I think it was like, Lamar Odom and (Andrew Bynum) or somebody like that (...) Then, New York comes in at the 25th hour and we have a meeting with New York. The infamous meeting. 3 o'clock in the morning and it's just like 'What are we gonna do?' Like, at this point, we just gotta make this decision," Anthony said.
At the end of the day, Melo took his talents to the Madison Square Garden in a massive deal that involved Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, Corey Brewer, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, and the Draft picks that ended up being Richaun Holmes, Dario Saric, and Jamal Murray
On one hand, the Nuggets landed what would eventually be a cornerstone of their franchise in Murray. On the other, the Knicks got the star they needed. Then again, it's crazy to think what could've happened if he played next to Kobe and Gasol in the Lakers. Maybe, he would've had that ring he deserves so much.