The talks of a three-team deal involving the Nets, Nuggets and Pistons have picked up steam today. As the deal stands right now, it's very complicated and potentially unprecedented, but it's "at the 10-yard line, in the Red Zone."
Recap of proposed deal: Melo, Rip, Billups, Williams, Carter -NJ; Harris, Favors, Morrow, Uzoh, Graham, Ross, 2 1sts-DEN; Murph, Petro- DET
Originally, the Nets also wanted the Pistons to send over their 2011 first round pick, which the Pistons were adamantly against. The Nets backed off on the first round pick and did not consider it a deal breaker, mostly for their own benefit, though. Carmelo Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, also represents Richard Hamilton and he's been pushing very hard for both of his clients to wind up in New Jersey.
According to one league source, Anthony wants to play with Rip. (You can also read that as Rose wanting both of his clients in New Jersey or it's not happening.) Obviously, the Nets really want Anthony, so that gives Detroit some added leverage in negotiations. Which is why, I think, the Pistons are also very reluctant to take on Johan Petro and his remaining contract (two years, $6.5 million). The Nets need to dump Petro to make the money of the deal work, though, so he is supposedly what's delaying this from becoming a done-deal. The Nets were reportedly trying to get a fourth team involved, but that complicated matters too much.
If Dumars can pull off this trade without taking on Petro, ridding the team of Rip's contract and acquiring Murphy's expiring contract would give the Pistons roughly $27 million to work with this offseason. If the Pistons have to take on Petro, they'd not only have less available money, but they'd also have to drop someone, as they'd have 16 players on the roster. John Hollinger believes the odd man out would be injured Terrico White, but my guess would be DaJuan Summers.
If a deal happens, expect it to happen within the next 24 hours -- the Nets play on Wednesday and will need to be able to man a full roster. For what it's worth, Carmelo Anthony is playing tonight for the Nuggets.