Carmelo Anthony Says He Doesn't Want to Talk to Nets
The Nuggets evidently have granted permission to the New Jersey Nets to speak to Carmelo Anthony about possibly joining them. Having such a conversation, a move first reported Sunday by NBA.com, is considered important because it's unlikely the Nets would do a deal if Anthony does not agree to sign an extension with New Jersey.
The only problem is Anthony says he knows nothing about any possible meeting with the Nets. And he says he wouldn't want to meet with them anyhow.
"I don't want to talk to nobody,'' Anthony said after his team's 110-97 loss at San Antonio on Sunday night. "I let the front office handle that type of stuff. It ain't my job to be talking to New Jersey, New York, the Lakers, Dallas, no one. That's not my job to do.''
Anthony said nobody in Denver's front office has said anything to him about possibly talking to the Nets. Anthony on Saturday had said he didn't have any interest in that.
"What am I going to meet with (Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov) for?'' Anthony said.
ESPN.com reported Sunday that Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z are most likely to make a face-to-face pitch to Anthony on Tuesday at an undisclosed location.
Anthony has said he believes it's tampering to talk to another team. But it isn't if that team is granted permission.
Before a Nov. 3, 2008, trade of Iverson to Detroit, the Nuggets gave Pistons executive Joe Dumars permission to speak to Iverson on the phone. The conversation took place Oct. 30, 2008, and Dumars came away willing to make a deal in which Chauncey Billups was sent to the Nuggets and the Pistons got Iverson.
That trade sure worked out well for the Nuggets, who advanced that season to the Western Conference finals, while it was disastrous for Detroit, ending its run as a title contender. But there certainly would be less optimism this time in Denver if Anthony is traded, perhaps along with Billups, a Denver native and hometown hero.
There have been talks about a possible three-team deal, which also would include Detroit, and would land the Nuggets forward Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris and at least two first-round picks. But first the Nets need to convince Anthony, whose preference is believed to be a trade to New York, to sign an extension.
Anthony has not signed a three-year, $64.47 million extension that has been on the table since June and can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. That's why he most likely will be dealt before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
"I still won't step into something like that,'' Anthony said after the San Antonio game of talking with the Nets even if it had been cleared by the Nuggets. "I've seen a lot of people go through that and for me to sit here and say that I want to talk to them or Masai (Ujiri, Denver's executive vice president of basketball operations) and Josh (Kroenke, Denver's president) gave them permission to talk to me, I think that's false. If that was the case, then I'm pretty sure I would've gotten a phone call from Masai or Josh about that.''
Ujiri did not return a phone message Sunday.
It's hardly the first time Anthony has made comments to the media that did not indicate an interest in going to the Nets, who will move to his native Brooklyn in 2012.
"I don't know where all this Nets stuff came from, man,'' Anthony said Saturday. "Once the Nets went out there and acquired those five picks (in the first round over the next two years), everybody just put everything together. ... From what I'm hearing, nothing is imminent right now. That's just what I'm hearing.''
Sources close to the Nuggets agree with Anthony that no deal is imminent.
Anthony, who shot just 5-of-17 for 12 points against the Spurs, had told FanHouse after Saturday's 127-99 home win over Cleveland he definitely would still be with the Nuggets for Wednesday's home game against Oklahoma City. He took that another step after Sunday's game.
"I'm going to play Wednesday against Oklahoma City and then against the Lakers (on Friday). Then Indiana (next Sunday),'' he said.
Meeting with reporters Sunday, New Jersey coach Avery Johnson said nothing to contradict what Anthony said.
"The team that you see right now, you'll see this team in uniform Wednesday (against Utah),'' Johnson said of his Nets. "You'll see the same team Friday night (against Detroit).''
Some believe the Nuggets might not want to trade Anthony until after a stretch concludes next Sunday of seven of eight games at home. The Lakers game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
The Nuggets are motivated eventually to get a deal done with New Jersey, which can offer better trade assets than New York. But if Anthony doesn't want to go to Nets and prefers the Knicks, the possible deal with New Jersey might blow up.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@christomasson