Nuggets Respond to Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors
Before starting Sunday night's game against New Orleans at the Pepsi Center, the Denver star forward was boasting about his hometown Baltimore Ravens winning big over Kansas City in an NFL playoff game earlier in the day.
In a brief interview with FanHouse, Anthony did say he was aware there are numerous reports he soon could be going to New Jersey, along with teammate Chauncey Billups, in a three-team trade that also includes Detroit.
Anthony didn't want to talk about the situation. But he was told there was one important question that needed to be asked. If traded to New Jersey, would he be willing to sign a three-year, $64.47 million contract extension with the Nets, one he has been unwilling to ink with the Nuggets?
"I ain't talking about that,'' Anthony said of the subject that could determine whether or not the Nets want to trade for him.
Anthony can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. That's why Denver has been looking to deal him by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Among the media outlets reporting the possible deal is close was the Bergen (N.J.) Record, which was the first on Friday to report the talks between the teams. The paper reported Sunday on its website a source saying "something could get done in the next 48 hours'' with Anthony going to New Jersey along with Billups.
The paper reported 14 or 15 players could be in the deal, and there are still some moving parts. But the Nuggets would end up with Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and at least two first-round picks, the Nets with Richard Hamilton from Detroit and the cost-shedding Pistons would receive Troy Murphy's expiring contract from New Jersey.
Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri did not return a message seeking comment. Nuggets coach George Karl said before Sunday's game he hasn't heard anything about any such possible deal.
"I've been told nothing of that,'' Karl said. "This morning at the shootaround everybody was involved and everybody was in tune and we're ready to go.''
Karl was asked if he would think he would have been apprised if something like that was close to going down.
"I would think so, yeah,'' he said.
Karl said he talked with Ujiri earlier Sunday and nothing was brought up regarding such a deal.
"I checked in with Masai this morning, and it was basically on the shootaround practice (Saturday),'' Karl said. "It was nothing on any players.''
Billups said Sunday he hadn't heard anything about any such deal involving him being close. Billups, a Denver native and hometown hero, had said Saturday he doesn't want to be traded and his agent, Andy Miller, told FanHouse that Billups would look for a buyout if dealt by Denver.
Along with Anthony bragging about the Ravens, everything else seemed normal in the Nuggets' locker room before the game.
"We're all here ready to play tonight,'' Al Harrington said. "Business as usual.''
Harrington said he hadn't heard reports about Anthony soon going to New Jersey. But he said he stays away from those things more now.
"I used to be a big fan of that HoopsHype thing,'' Harrington said of the popular NBA website HoopsHype.com. "But there are always so many rumors, it's just ridiculous. So I stay away from it (now).''
It's believed by many that Anthony's preference is go to New York, which does not have the trade assets New Jersey does, and a source had told FanHouse on Dec. 20 that Anthony didn't want to sign an extension with New Jersey. Harrington was asked if he's ever talked to Anthony about that aspect of his future.
"It's not my place and not my business so I just stay away from it,'' Harrington said.
Stay tuned to see if everybody soon knows about Anthony's thought process.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@christomasson