Is Carmelo trying to force a trade?

Apr. 25, 2010 - Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA - epa02132054 Denver Nugget's Carmelo Anthony (R) argues with official Dick Bavetta (L) after a foul in a game against the Utah Jazz's in the second half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 25 April 2010. The Jazz beat the Nuggets 117-106 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

Ric Bucher was on SportsCenter today talking about the Carmelo Anthony situation, which has gone from simmer to red hot in a matter of days.

Clearly the Knicks are very attractive. He has a great relationship with Mike D’Antoni and he loves to play in an up-tempo system. His new wife Lala Vasquez is from New York. He was born in the area, so that’s the attraction.

But more than anything, my sources are telling me, that it’s not in Denver. That at the beginning of this season, he is hoping to be someplace else. The only question is — can he do that signing the three-year, $65 million dollar extension, or does not signing it give him the leverage to force the Nuggets to send him elsewhere?

This is the first I’ve heard about Anthony potentially forcing a trade. It looked like he was going to play out the year and probably become a free agent next summer and sign with the Knicks. But with that dark cloud hanging over the franchise, questions are asked of sources and news is generated. Now we have a prominent NBA writer saying that Anthony wants to be elsewhere at the beginning of the season.

For all the angry (or in denial) Nuggets fans out there, let’s not forget that we just went through this with Chris Bosh and the Raptors, and even then the signs weren’t that strong that he was leaving, at least not before the season started.

The writing is on the wall and the Nuggets’ job now is to get the best deal they can get. Given Melo’s reported love affair with NYC, the Nuggets will probably get the best offers Knicks or the Nets — the two teams who believe that they’ll be best able to re-sign him next summer.
The Knicks could offer Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract, but would that be enough for the Nuggets to bite? And [erhaps New Jersey would be willing to part with Derrick Favors and/or Terrence Williams, though it should be noted that the Nets don’t have an expiring contract like Curry’s to balance the deal.

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