Stein: Carmelo isn’t on the trading block

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony scores against the Utah Jazz during the fourth quarter of the first round playoffs game two at the Pepsi Center on April 19, 2010 in Denver. Utah beat Denver 114-111 to even the series at 1-1.  UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom

According to Marc Stein, the Nuggets are telling interested teams thanks but no thanks.

Yet sources tied to five potential Anthony suitors, reached in recent days by ESPN.com, all relayed the same story about the Nuggets’ response: They’re pretty much ending these conversations before they even start by saying that they don’t want to engage in Melo talks.

Ujiri’s Denver superiors instead want him to lead the club’s mountain climb of a bid to try to reconnect with the 26-year-old scoring machine before they even consider trading him, hoping that some sort of positive karma exists in the reunion of Ujiri, a former Nuggets scout, and Anthony, who both arrived in Denver in 2003 and spent several formative seasons together in the organization.

I explored the various trade scenarios last week, and the main issue is that whatever team that trades for Anthony will want a long term commitment. Carmelo wants the three-year extension, so an extend-and-trade is the best way to go for all parties involved. So why he technically doesn’t need to sign off on a new trade destination, the still-unsigned extension gives him the power to do exactly that.

Ujiri has been described as a very positive person, so he’s doing his due diligence here in the hopes of convince Anthony to stay while he tries to reshape the roster. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If Carmelo starts the season as a Nugget, he’ll likely finish it as a Nugget. It will be very difficult to trade him in February if the Nuggets are in the middle of the playoff pack in the West. (Just look at what happened to the Raptors.)

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