Carmelo Anthony practiced with the Denver Nuggets Monday — a sign that nothing is imminent on the trade front — as did everyone else whose name has come up in recent trade talks. The exception was Chauncey Billups (officially out due to a headache, which I bet all the trade rumors have become for him).
Anthony spoke to the media Monday but sounded more out of the loop on what is going down than you imagine he actually is. There was this one interesting quote, via the twitter of Chris Tomasson of FanHouse, regarding the New York Knicks:
“New York is playing well right now. I don’t think they’re looking at me. They wouldn’t want me to come in there and mess what they have up. That’s what I’ve read so.”
The entire island of Manhattan just yelled “WHAT!?!”
You can be sure the Knicks and their fans still want Anthony. Badly (although maybe not Amar’e Stoudemire). But aside that quote you got no real sense of what Anthony is planning other than to suit up for the Nuggets Tuesday (again quotes are via Tomasson). For example, would he sign an extension with the Nets?
“I really don’t know. I’m waiting to see Masai (Ujiri, Denver’s executive vice president of basketball operations) and Josh (Kroenke, the Nuggets president)… They haven’t been here. So I’m just patiently waiting until they get back so I have a sitdown with them.”
“I’m here… Until something happens, I’m a Denver Nugget.”
“I got a game tomorrow against Phoenix. So if I go out there tomorrow thinking about the New Jersey Nets that will disrespectful to myself. That would be disrespectful to this organization and to the fans out there.”
He could be a Nugget for a while longer.
This is a complex, 15-player, three-team trade that keeps evolving. The core of it would send Anthony, Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, some other players and a couple first round picks to the Nuggets; and Troy Murphy and Johan Petro to the Pistons along with picks. But questions about whether Al Harrington is part, what picks and more continue to be negotiated.
Anthony reiterated again that he didn’t think anything was going to happen this week, saying there was no pressure that makes this have to happen in the next 48 hours. Also, there is no real pressure on the Nuggets to make a move so long as New Jersey’s core deal is still on the table — and the Nets are not likely to pull it off because they want Anthony. They want the Brooklyn native to open the new arena in Brooklyn in two years.
So while there is a lot of heat right now, we could be in this fire for a while. The trading deadline is Feb. 24.