Reports: Nuggets Close to Trading Carmelo Anthony

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:12 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 18, 2011 1:53 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

DENVER – Several reports Friday said the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets have reached a tentative agreement to a trade involving star Carmelo Anthony and former Tulsa standout Ben Uzoh in a nine-player deal.

Anthony’s contract will run out at the end of this season and he has made it clear he wishes to play for a different team, which is why the Nuggets have spent much of this season trying to trade him. Several other trades – including two others involving the Nets – have been reported over the past few months, but all of them fell apart.

The Bergen Record first reported the specific terms of the deal earlier Friday. The trade would essentially overhaul both teams, sending Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman to the Nets in exchange for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, Uzoh and four first-round picks.

Denver is expected to turn around and trade Murphy and one of those first-round picks to a third team. The Nuggets have made it clear they do not want to absorb Murphy’s $12 million contract.

The Nets’ biggest competition for Anthony’s services is likely the New York Knicks, who have also expressed interest in trading for the elite scorer. Anthony has shown a preference for the Knicks, but the Nuggets desire rookie Favors more than anyone the Knicks have offered.

Regardless of which team is able to reach a final deal with the Nuggets, a trade cannot be finalized until the trade partner is able to agree to terms on a contract extension with Anthony. He is expected to meet with the ownership of both the Knicks and Nets during the All-Star festivities this weekend in Los Angeles, presumably for the purpose of discussing an extension.

This trade also could have a long-term effect on the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is a division rival of the Nuggets. If the Nuggets failed to trade Anthony and simply lost him through free agency, it could take them years to build back into an elite team.

However, if this proposed trade goes through, Denver will obtain a promising rookie in Favors, a dynamic guard in Harris and the ability to reload immediately with more young talent from the acquired draft picks.

The NBA trade deadline will hit next Thursday, and a lot can happen before then. There are still several details that must be worked out, and other trades have stalled at this same point in the process. Oklahoma Sports will bring you more information whenever it becomes available.