1.) The Nets. They have the most to offer in a Melo deal. They know that Melo will cave if traded to the Nets and re-up for a max extension. They'll be in Brooklyn in a year (his hometown) etc . . .
2.) Denver. They know the Nets desperately want Melo. The more the Nets lose, the more desperate they get. New ownership and management is determined to change the culture, and they are willing to overpay in a big way for Melo. If the Nets get desperate enough, they'll give up five picks and whatever else we want. Anyway, in the meantime, we're winning games with Melo and they're losing, making them salivate for Melo even more.
3.) Melo. He gets to decide where he wants to go because if he refuses to sign an extension, Denver won't get enough for him.
I conclude that Denver is probably in the best position. They have Melo right now and they're winning and putting a great team out there. Yeah -- Melo wants to go. But that doesn't mean they have to give him away. What do they care how annoying their antics are to the Nets? Do they really think the Nets are going to start taking players off the table? Or bite on another trade for someone like Iggy when Melo is still out there? They know Proky wants to make more of a splash than Iggy would bring. And the more the Nets lose, the better the Nets' draftpick will be, which Denver will receive in a trade. Once Denver deals Melo, they are in re-building mode, which no fans enjoy. So what's the rush? Better to just keep him around, win more games, and wait until New Jersey is so tired of losing and desperate that they're willing to give away the farm.
The only way I can think of Denver's stradegy failing is if we get so bad that Melo will not sign an extension. But the consensus seems to be that he's signing an extension wherever he goes. I hate Denver for the way they're conducting this, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to make sense (from their perspective). They're essentially holding Melo hostage. We suck right now. And we're going to keep losing and they know that each loss hurts and makes us more desperate. And they know Proky covets and needs a star. So they're demanding we give them something totally unreasonable to release the hostage. Eventually we'll be desperate enough to pay the ransom. Please tell me why I'm wrong!