Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov pulled the plug on trade talks with the Nuggets Wednesday, saying the process had “taken too long” in an impromptu press conference and lamenting the negative impact the talks have had on his team.
“There comes a time when the prize is simply too expensive,” Prokhorov said. “I’m instructing our team to walk away from the deal.”
That was apparently news to Nets general manager Billy King, who reportedly didn’t know about Prokhorov’s decision until midway through the press conference. King had to shoot an urgent text message to Pistons GM Joe Dumars, whose team was also rumored to be involved in the deal, to save face.
The Nets have been courting Melo for months, but to no avail.
The price was right where the Nuggets were concerned — the Nets offered a package that included Derrick Favors and a slew of draft picks — but Anthony was cold on the idea of signing a contract extension with New Jersey. He’s long indicated he’d rather go to New York.
Prokhorov thought he could change Anthony’s mind about the extension, even going so far as to arrange a sitdown with Melo with the Nuggets’ blessing. But the meeting never happened. Anthony was negative in the press about the idea and on Wednesday Prokhorov made like The Situation and pulled out of the threesome. (Okay, bad choice of words. Three-team deal.)
Even with the Nets — the team with the most to offer — out of the running, a deal for Carmelo will likely still go through.
The Knicks are scraping together the necessary draft picks to lure the Nuggets into a deal, and the darkhorse Rockets are a player as well.
The Nuggets aren’t stupid. They know they have to make a deal or risk losing Melo for nothing (a la what happened to the Raptors last offseason with Chris Bosh). They’ll pull the trigger on something before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
As for the Nets, they seem to have larger problems than just losing out on Carmelo. Their front office is a mess.
Prokhorov is the owner. He’s entitled to make executive decisions. But leaving King in the dark was a bad move. It shows he doesn’t have confidence in or respect for his top executive and that can be a killer.
When The Russian entered the league, we all thought he was going to be Mark Cuban East: a passionate, smart owner who’s not afraid to throw his money around. Instead, we got Maloofs East. Prokhorov is out of his element and meddling.
The future looks grim in Jersey.