There is so much more to this trade than what is on the surface. Would this trade make the Nets a better team right now? Yes. Would giving away all the young talent and draft picks make us better in the long-run. No. Would acquiring Carmelo get some much needed media attention and help to sell tickets and merchandise? Absolutely. But there is so much more. First of all look at the actual trade (as most recently rumored to be structured):
At this point, I think it is safe to say that most posters on this site do not want this proposed Carmelo trade to go through. There are plenty of reasons to think that way: Denver is using us, we are becoming a joke, we are giving up too much, Carmelo isn't a superstar, building through the draft is the way to go, etc. I, however, am still firmly in favor of this trade and I will tell you why.
Nets get Carmelo, Billups, Hamilton, Williams, Carter, Balkman, and Summers
Yes we are giving up 9 players and 4 draft picks but just how valuable are they? Harris has, at this point, sufficiently proved that his All-Star season a couple years ago was a fluke, and he is no more than an average starting point guard. He is maddeningly inconsistent and not the leader this team needs. Morrow is an expert sharpshooter but really isn't anything more than a backup 2 guard. James is a rookie forward with some skill and potential who could very well have a long career as a rotation player. But Graham, Ross, Uzoh, Petro, Murphy? The only value any of these guys has is Murphy thanks to his big expiring contract. So while it is 5 players, there is very little value there. The last player is Favors. He has a ton of potential and could end up being a real star, but it is also entirely possible that won't happen. How many times have we seen talented project players filled with potential that don't pan out? It happens all the time and while I'm not saying that will happen with Favors, I'm just saying that we don't really know what kind of player he ends up being.
As for the draft picks, they are all mysteries. Our 2011 pick is looking like it will be a good one right now, but if this trade happens anytime soon then that pick will lose some of its value as the new Nets should be able to win some games. The Warriors pick in 2012 has protections that could ultimately turn it into 2 2nd rd picks. Not that that is a likely scenario, but it is possible. Our 2013 pick will hopefully be a late 1st rounder as by then we should be a much improved team. Plus recent history has shown that it is extremely rare to find franchise players outside of the top 5, and if none of these picks end up being top 5 selections, then how are we ever going to find our franchise player? Look at recent draft history and you will see that hardly any of the real superstar franchise players in the league today were drafted outside the top 5. Many of you are against trading for Melo and instead would like to see the Nets use their plethora of draft picks to find a franchise player. Well what if the picks don't fall our way? To me, that is too risky and in a star-driven league, if you have a chance to get a player like Carmelo, you do it.
Going even further, is giving up so many of our players really a bad thing? This team has been historically bad the last season and a half and so would blowing everything up in one giant move really be a bad idea? I certainly don't think so. As for people who think the amount of draft picks we would lose is the big issue, well then see the above paragraph. And with that same idea in mind, this whole thing is simply about getting back to winning games. The Nets have become a laughingstock of a franchise in recent years because of just how bad they have been. Ridding themselves of that losing atmosphere is the single most important goal right now. Look at the Knicks (I didn't chose the Knicks simply because they are the Knicks and so many people around here always compare what we do to what they do, rather I chose them because they were in a very similar situation to us). Going into last summer, both franchises needed facelifts. People throughout the NBA, fans included, thought of both franchises as losers thanks to recent history. Both needed to rid themselves of that losing atmosphere before they could be taken seriously again. The Knicks went about it the right way. They jumped on Amare before anyone else could, while still holding out hope that LeBron would choose them. The Nets put all their eggs in the LeBron basket even though they had very little chance of landing him. When he chose the Heat, the Nets were left with a ton of money (since the other big time free agents had already signed), which they spent foolishly on players like Outlaw, Petro, and Murphy (yes he was traded for but only our cap space allowed us to make that trade). So we spent all that time saving up for the chance at LeBron and came away with nothing. Obviously, this years team isn't all that much better than last years. The Knicks, meanwhile, lost out on LeBron but at least got something (Amare). Now, half way through the season the Knicks are 22-18 and sitting in 6th place in the East. Everyone is talking about them as the dream landing spot for not only Carmelo, but Chris Paul as well. The Knicks are back to being taken seriously throughout the NBA and it is as if the Isiah era never happened. All of this because that losing atmosphere is gone. No longer are people joking about the Knicks they way they had been for the previous decade. Now people are back to joking about the Nets, despite their 2 Eastern Conference Championships in the last decade.
As for those who are so sure Carmelo doesn't want to be a Net, don't believe everything ESPN says. It would great for a sports news and info provider like themselves if Carmelo (and eventually CP3) went to the Knicks. The Knicks relevant again with the Garden rocking every night, great news stories. There have been countless signs that Carmelo will indeed sign that extension here (his agents pushing this deal, the Nets not being told to stop their pursuit ala Philly, Washington and others, Melo himself saying that signing an extension before the CBA expires is the most important thing for him, Melo smiling while admitting to thinking about opening up that new arena back home in Brooklyn, etc.) but people like those who work at ESPN try to make everything look like the glass is half-empty from the Nets side of things, and the glass half-full from the Knicks side of things.
The main point here is that trashing that losing atmosphere is priority #1, and this trade accomplishes that. It makes the Nets a better basketball team, which will lead to more wins, which will lead to more respect around the NBA.