Nuggets, Nets, Pistons three-team ‘Melo trade talks heat up again

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Two different reports have the much-discussed three-team trade that would have Carmelo Anthony landing in New Jersey heating up again.

Those talks were moving very fast last weekend but reportedly lost momentum early this week when the Denver Nuggets pushed for the Nets to take on Al Harrington and his four-year, $28 million contract as part of the package. The Nuggets were reportedly the team that slowed the pace down and it may have been outgoing owner Stan Kroenke who pushed to move more salary as part of the deal.

TNT sideline reporter and NBA.com writer David Aldridge said during Thursday night’s Nuggets/Heat game that he was told the talks had started up again in earnest and something could be done as soon as next week.

That report was confirmed by the Bergin Record in New Jersey.

After the game Anthony himself said he would be playing for the Nuggets in a Saturday and Sunday back-to-back in Cleveland and San Antonio.

This is a complex, 14-to-16 player, three-team trade that would end up sending Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; bring Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, some other players and a couple first-round picks to Denver; and give Detroit Troy Murphy and Johan Petro as well as picks.

The stumbling blocks are two-fold. One is Harrington and the fact nobody wants to take on that contract. It is unknown if he is still part of the deal.

The other is whether or not Anthony would sign a deal with the Nets and go to New Jersey. On one hand it’s difficult to imagine his agent working this hard on a deal if he didn’t already talk to Anthony about signing the three-year, $65 million extension. On the other hand, numerous reports have Anthony not being sold on the move and still waffling on New Jersey and the future of that franchise.

As Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski said today, there are a lot of chefs in this kitchen, and a lot of different agendas. That includes a lot of people in New York, as the Knicks wait in the wings trying to make a deal to get Anthony. But in the end it comes down simply to can these three teams agree on a deal? And if they can, does Carmelo Anthony really want to go to New Jersey for a couple of years, then take the Nets (or whatever they will be called then) into Brooklyn?

We may finally be getting close to the answer of the first question, and not long after we will find out about the second.