Post Carmelo trade: The NBA needs competency, not parity
Carmelo Anthony is gone, as is yet another team that was supposed to have replaced the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference hierarchy some years back.
In the wake of the trade, I suppose the most obvious way to tie the headlines into something that relates to the Spurs is to note how the Western Conference is crumbling around them, setting up what would appear to be one more run to the NBA Finals.
But in truth, those Denver Nuggets were never going to pose a threat to the Spurs. For this season, the departure of Carmelo Anthony is completely irrelevant. But it could have impact going forward. Given limited resources, R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich have been able to keep a mid-sized market like San Antonio atop the league through good management. As Pop puts it, they were blessed with a franchise player and they simply havenâ€™t screwed it up.
Carmelo Anthony is no Tim Duncan, but thatâ€™s not to say the Denver Nuggets havenâ€™t screwed this up, royally. Bad contracts, trades, and drafts cost the Nuggets all flexibility, and eventually their star forward.
So whereâ€™s the impact? Something like this would never happen to the Spurs, and if the owners have their way, the Carmelo trade will be the last time something like this happens ever again. Thatâ€™s not necessarily a good thing for markets like San Antonio.
After the summer of Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony successfully forcing his way to New York, there are two logical directions the NBA could go after the expiration of the current CBA.
Because in the wake of the latest trade, before the ink on a new Carmelo Anthony contract extension could even dry, attention already shifted to the next wave of superstars forcing their way to more appealing cities with their own super teams in mind.
Derron Williams. Chris Paul. Dwight Howard.
Each of these players has played for management that is mismanaging the prime of their careers, and each now see a way out. The NBA can either continue to operate in an environment in which players are calling all the shots, or more likely, they will overreact and create a business model in which teams are never put in this position in the first place.
A lot of the talk heading into this apparent lockout is the owners wanting to save themselves from themselves. Shorter contracts, harder salary caps, more flexibility in getting out of bad contracts. What they choose to ignore is that the current system allows for these thingsâ€”they just require good management.
Many of the big name relocations over the past few years have been due to bad management. But is negating harmful decisions really in the leagueâ€™s best interests?
Because for smaller markets that are competing, like San Antonio or Oklahoma City, the only real advantage they have in keeping or luring players has been Gregg Popovich and people who once worked for Gregg Popovich.
Remove the impact they have and the only appeal becomes city and market.
The Denver Nuggets, as an organization, should be held accountable for what happened with them and Carmelo Anthony. If they are victims, it is only victims of their own decision making. The only comfort they should find is in the fact that they were dealing with Isiah Thomas and not the New York Knicks actual general manager.
This trade is good for the NBA, and good for the San Antonio Spurs. A team that was supposed to have closed its window years ago is primed for another championship run in part because of the roster decisions they have made, and in part because they no longer have Amare Stoudemire, Brandon Roy, Jerry Sloan, and now Carmelo Anthony to contend with.
If the NBA wishes to take away anything from this trade, they need only look to the Spurs. Itâ€™s not parity thatâ€™s needed in the NBA, just competency.