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Melo for Bynum – Great Deal for Denver, So-So for L.A.

The rumor of the day is that L.A. is considering trading Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony. I assume L.A.’s reasoning goes something like this:

  1. Bynum has missed a lot of games this year and we still win without him
  2. Kobe is on the downhill slope of his career – it’s a good idea to have a successor waiting in the wings
  3. Melo might be a better player with Kobe and Phil Jackson looking over his shoulder – after all, we saw a glimpse of what Melo can do in the Denver-LA Western Conference Finals
  4. Melo creates space for Gasol and Kobe and puts a lot of pressure on defenses

I also think LA is hesitant to trade for Melo because he wouldn’t improve their defense. There’s also the issue of usage – where will the ball go with Odom, Gasol, Kobe, and Melo all on the floor?

To be honest, I don’t see LA having a lot of reasons to do this deal. Unless Bynum isn’t taking things seriously and applying himself, trading him seems like the wrong move.

As far as Denver is concerned, this deal is a no-brainer. Here’s why:

1. Bynum is young, and he’s a franchise talent. Denver doesn’t want to trade Melo unless they can get a franchise talent – or a chance at drafting a franchise talent – in return. Bynum, when healthy, would be the 2nd best center in the league and a tough matchup.

2. Bynum is easy to flip. If Denver decides that Bynum isn’t the answer, they can flip him this summer for draft picks and interesting young players very easily. I think there are at least half a dozen teams that would get serious if Bynum were made available.

3. Grabbing Bynum makes moving Nene very possible. If Denver acquired Bynum, they would have every reason to trade Nene. Nene’s upside is much smaller, and he’s an older player – but he’s healthier and he doesn’t need the ball to be effective. Houston reportedly loves Nene and has a lot of great assets.

The main reason that Denver likes a Melo for Bynum deal, however, is this: Bynum brings back more than Melo in any trade scenario. Because Melo is unwilling to sign an extension with most teams, his trade value is lower than the value of Bynum, who is under contract for at least two more seasons.

I don’ t think I’d like this move if I were an LA fan, but as a Nuggets fan I’m all about it. Here’s to hoping it goes down, or at the very least gets NY to raise their offer.

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