The Denver Nuggets are not talking about trading Carmelo Anthony right now. Calls are politely being turned away. They want their chance to keep him first.
But a good rumor is like Freddy Krueger, it will not die.
The Chicago Bulls are considering trying to pry Anthony out of Chicago by including Joakim Noah in the deal, according to ESPNChicago.
According to the source, the Nuggets are hesitant to take back Luol Deng as part of a deal with the Bulls because Denver is leery of taking on long-term contracts with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on June 30, 2011. Deng is two years into a six-year, $71 million contract.
Noah will make $3.1 million this season in the fourth year of his rookie deal. He would become a restricted free agent next season unless the Bulls extend his contract.
We told you yesterday of the reports that Anthony still wants to be traded, preferably to the Knicks or Bulls. This clearly comes out of the Carmelo Anthony camp, which is located somewhere roughly on the third floor of the CAA building.
This new report comes from a “league source.” Think about it this way: Who benefits by leaking this to the press? Chicago? No, it makes them uncomfortable and if it wasn’t for the Bears about to stink once again and Manny Ramirez stinking once again all anybody in Chicago would talk about is this trade.
Does it makes sense to leak this if you’re Denver? Yes. Put out there for Chicago what it will really take to get this deal done.
Formally, Denver is still turning away trade requests. What we have here is a bucket of water out of the Mississippi River of backchannel conversations in the NBA. Denver, or the reasons enumerated, would likely prefer Noah to Deng.
Has Chicago discussed it internally? Probably on some level. Whether Chicago would actually do this is another thing entirely. Noah is a guy touted in Chicago as a building block. Part of the front line with Boozer. And he is affordable. To make the numbers work in this trade you’d almost have to send Deng and Noah, and that’s not going to happen. So there are a lot of questions.
Bottom line, don’t expect any action from the Nuggets soon. Rumors, yes, expect plenty of those. But not action.