Carmelo Anthony: Staying in Denver Remains an Option
Anthony told FanHouse he hasn't ruled out eventually re-signing with the Nuggets and that he expects to be with the team when it opens the regular season next Wednesday at home against Utah.
"Yeah. That's keeping my options open,'' Anthony said when asked if re-signing with the Nuggets remains one of his options. "Yeah (it's an option). When that time comes, we'll discuss that.''
Anthony, who scored 21 points in Denver's 130-115 preseason win over Oklahoma City, didn't believe Tuesday was his last game at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets finish the preseason with games Thursday at Portland and Friday at Phoenix.
"I'm pretty sure I will,'' Anthony said of expecting to still be with the Nuggets for their regular-season opener. "That's a week from now. I'm here now.''
Anthony has yet to sign a three-year, $64.47 million extension offer that has been on the table since June. Anthony, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer, has consistently said he wants to keep his options open. And he did sign the contract with an option to be made in 2011, not in 2010.
The latest report on Anthony's future had a source telling ESPN.com Tuesday night that the New York Knicks "have made significant progress in recent days in their efforts to acquire'' Anthony. The report said the Knicks have softened their stance on including forward Danilo Gallinari in a trade. The New York Daily News had reported earlier Tuesday the Knicks now would include Gallinari in a potential deal involving Anthony.
Anthony, who is second in the NBA in preseason scoring with a 23.5 average behind the 26.0 forward Amar'e Stoudemire is putting up for New York, was in a good mood following a game that also saw him grab nine rebounds and block two shots in 32 minutes. He certainly didn't talk like someone who thought it could be his final home game in Denver.
"I am just trying to get it in everybody's mind that let's start now. I know it's preseason, but let's start now,'' Anthony said to reporters before joking, "I don't have no drama in my life, man.''
Nuggets guard Anthony Carter actually might agree with that. Carter insisted all of the talk about whether Anthony could be moved hasn't been a distraction to the team.
"I haven't heard nothing,'' Carter said. "Nobody (on the Nuggets) has said nothing about it. We let Melo do his thing. ... Ain't nobody said nothing about it. Ain't nobody ask him no questions what he's going to do (in his future). We're just going to let it play out, and hopefully he can still be here. It just seems normal. He came in training camp, worked hard, played his butt off and is still playing his butt off. Don't nobody still know what's going to happen.''
Anthony had hoped for the chance Tuesday to go up against the reigning NBA scoring champion, but it didn't happen. Thunder forward Kevin Durant was given the night off.
"I love playing against him,'' Anthony said. "He is a competitor. I know he's going to compete. There are going to be many, many battles to come in this league (between the two).''
Anthony also weighed in when asked by a reporter about another scoring champion, four-time winner Allen Iverson. Anthony said Iverson, his Denver teammate from 2006-08, still can play but didn't seem too excited that it might be with Istanbul's Besiktas after Iverson, 35, got no NBA offers during the offseason.
"They did the same thing with L.T.,'' Anthony said about running back LaDainian Tomlinson having been written off by many before his resurgence this season with the New York Jets. "Look what LaDainian is doing. ... I believe (Iverson still can play). It's just sad to see him going through what he's going thorugh right now. I just want to see him play. I'm pretty sure a lot of people want to see him play. But it's an unfortunate situation for him.''
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson.