If you take away one thing from the latest reports and rumors on a Carmelo Anthony trade, take away this — the saga will likely to drag out until near the trade deadline Feb. 24.
That said, talks are still going on, as Chris Broussard laid out at ESPN. He says that just before Christmas a three-team deal between the Nuggets, Nets and Cavaliers almost came to pass:
Denver would have received (Derrick) Favors, Devin Harris and three first-round picks. Cleveland would have received (the expiring contract of Troy) Murphy and one or two first-round picks, and the Nets would have received Anthony, Al Harrington and the Cavaliers’ ($14.5 million) trade exception, the sources said.
Beyond the sticking point of Anthony accepting or refusing to sign the long-term extension with New Jersey, the deal fell apart because both Denver and Cleveland wanted the 2012 first-round pick the Nets got from Golden State in the Marcus Williams trade. That pick is protected through the first seven slots.
Denver apparently is of the belief that the longer they hold out, the better the options they will have. That may be flawed, teams will start cutting them off at the knees knowing they have to move Anthony.
Know that, on some level, Anthony trade talks are still going on, (probably as you read this). But if you’re in a pool on the date ‘Melo gets traded, best take the dates close to the deadline. We are a long way from the finish line.