Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony could be on the way out sooner rather than later, as the Nuggets and Nets are moving closer to a mega-deal that would send the star to New Jersey, according to an ESPN report Sunday. The deal could be completed as early as this week.
The details of the three-team deal, according to the report, are as follows:
The Nets would get Anthony, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton and Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups.
The Nuggets would get Nets guard Devin Harris, Nets forward Derrick Favors, Nets guard Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks.
The Pistons would get Nets forward Troy Murphy and Nets center Johan Petro.
Tomasson: Nuggets Enter Last Ditch Stretch in Attempt to Keep Carmelo
The Bergen Record reported Friday that Billups could be dealt to the Nets along with Anthony. Saturday, Billups' agent told FanHouse's Chris Tomasson that if his client was traded before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, he would want to have Billups' contract bought out by this summer, enabling him to become a free agent.
Other players with smaller contracts would have to be included to make the salary-cap math work, says ESPN.com.
One key to the trade talks moving forward is the Nets' and Nuggets' willingness to complete a trade without asking Detroit to surrender a first-round pick, according to ESPN sources.
Initially, the Pistons did not want to give up a first-round pick. Sources told ESPN that the Nets are forcing the Pistons to take on Petro's contact, something the Pistons aren't thrilled about doing, thus forcing the Nets to search for a fourth team that would complete the deal.
Anthony would still have to agree to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets in order to complete the extend-and-trade clause.
Although the New York Knicks remain Anthony's prized place to play, reports throughout recent weeks said that the Nuggets aren't thrilled with the Knicks' assets.
Yahoo! Sports also reported Sunday night that the Anthony trade rumors are " real close." The report even went a step further than the ESPN one by quoting a front-office executive who said that Anthony is "on board" with signing a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets.
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