Melo to New Jersey? Nuggets involved in ‘serious’ discussions with the Nets

Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony (R) dribbles past Utah Jazz's Wesley Matthews in the third quarter of Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series in Salt Lake City, Utah April 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ramin Rahimian (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Marc Stein is reporting that there is a four-team deal in the works that would bring Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey.

The proposed deal, sources said, also would involve the Utah Jazz and the Charlotte Bobcats. It would deliver Nets rookie forward Derrick Favors, Jazz veteran Andrei Kirilenko and multiple first-round picks to Denver in exchange for their franchise player, potentially bringing a resolution to Anthony’s uncertain future before the Nuggets hold their first practice of the new season.

Sources told ESPN.com that the deal, which has yet to be finalized, also would send former All-Star point guard Devin Harris to Charlotte, with Bobcats forward Boris Diaw moving to Utah.

The piece goes on to say that one obstacle is Carmelo’s willingness to sign an extension. The Nets aren’t going to give up Favors and Harris if Carmelo can enter free agency next summer.

So the Nets would theoretically start Jordan Farmar at the point, Terrence Williams at the two, Anthony at the three, Troy Murphy at the four and Brook Lopez at center. That’s not too bad, but will Anthony be willing to sign on for three more years?

The deal makes some sense for Denver, who would get Favors, Kirilenko and apparently a few draft picks. After Kirilenko’s deal came off the books next summer, the Nuggets’ payroll would be right at the salary cap, and if they chose to move Chauncey Billups as well for an expiring contract, they would actually have enough cap space for a max free agent, not that there’s anyone worth that in next summer’s free agent class. Still, if they were able to get a young prospect or a first round pick for Billups, they would be loaded with cheap assets and can begin to rebuild around Favors and Ty Lawson.

I’m not sure why the Jazz would rather have Boris Diaw than Kirilenko (maybe they’ll get out of the luxury tax?), but the Bobcats’ desire to acquire Devin Harris makes sense. They let Raymond Felton go this summer and are heading into the season with D.J. Augustin and Shaun Livingston.

We’ll see if this progresses or falls apart, like most four-team trades seemingly do.

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