Nuggets And Nets May Still Make A Deal If Carmelo Anthony Goes To The Knicks (UPDATE: Bluff?)

on February 21 2011 3:07 PM
Carmelo Anthony
With trade talks finally reaching their boiling point, we'll soon know just where Carmelo Anthony is going to call home for the rest of the season. REUTERS

The Carmelo Anthony trade situation has grown even more muddled as ESPN's Chris Broussard is now reporting that if the Denver Nuggets make a trade with the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets might still swoop in for a trade with the Nuggets.

Last week, the Nets agreed to a deal with the Nuggets that would have sent Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round picks to Denver in exchange for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman. That deal was pending an agreement by Anthony to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with New Jersey.

Anthony and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov were alleged to be scheduled to meet over All-Star Weekend to hash out whether or not this trade would happen.

The Knicks, still seeing themselves in the driver's seat of the Anthony Sweepstakes, increased their offer for Anthony this week, proposing a three-team trade between the Knicks, Nuggets, and Minnesota Timberwolves that would have netted the team Anthony, Billups, Williams, and Balkman; the Nuggets would have received  Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Corey Brewer, and the Knicks' 2014 first-round pick; the Timberwolves would be left with Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry—who has a very large expiring contract—for their involvement in the deal.

All of these trades hinge on Anthony signing an extension, and since he's only publicly said he would do so with the Knicks, they appear to be in the driver's seat.

However, the Nets are now hedging their bets in the event that they miss out on acquiring Anthony. According to Broussard, if the Nuggets and Knicks complete the above-mentioned deal, the Nets would offer the Nuggets two of the first round picks they are willing to trade in exchange for Mozgov and one of the three other parts in the trade: Felton, Gallinari, or Chandler.

It wouldn't be a move on par with bringing Anthony to Newark (and Brooklyn in the future) but it would provide some extra pieces for the Nets, who could then work on more deals such as ones that would see Devin Harris and Troy Murphy leaving town.

UPDATE: According to Yahoo! Sports's NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, the proposed trade that would send some of New York's pieces to New Jersey after the Knicks's trade with the Nuggets could be a bluff by New Jersey since the Nets want [a] divided Knicks front office to think they'll acquire via Denver the players NY's reluctant to move for Melo. And hesitate on deal.

If true, the manuevering behind this trade is even more intense than previously thought, even downright Machiavellian.

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