Your obligitory Carmelo trade talk update

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony warms up at the Pepsi Center in Denver on November 16, 2010. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

And the beat goes on…

Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes that the Nets could soon reenter the fray.

But around the NBA, there is a strong undercurrent that the Nets, while idle now and certainly not viewed as favorites in the hunt, are anything but done if there indeed is a trade in the Carmelo Anthony saga.

Though multiple sources said there is nothing going on at present, there exists a growing feeling the Nuggets will contact the Nets again while playing the drama out until the Feb. 24 trading deadline.

I don’t know about this one. Mikhail Prokhorov had a meeting set up with Carmelo when he elected to instruct management to stop pursuing a trade with the Nuggets. Why would he start the saga again? What’s changed?

Meanwhile, the Denver Post is reporting that Carmelo may be willing to sign an extension with the Nuggets if he isn’t traded by the trade deadline.

Anthony said he would “take a real hard look” at signing a three-year, $65 million contract extension that has been on the table since June if he is not dealt by the Feb. 24 trading deadline.

The team’s all-star said he hasn’t heard any updates from management about a possible trade, though team officials are talking to potential suitors throughout the league. Though Anthony has always said he was keeping his options open, he hadn’t talked publicly about possibly signing until Wednesday.

“As the days go on, that’s something that I think about, that nothing might happen, that I’ll be here, whether I have to deal with the free-agency market or re-sign the extension here with the Nuggets,” he said.

Asked specifically to clarify whether he might sign the extension if not traded, Anthony said, “Yeah.”

What? The Nuggets’ extension has been on the table for months and Carmelo has refused to sign it. Now that we’re just over two weeks away from the trade deadline, he’s suddenly willing to think about re-upping with Denver?

I don’t buy it. This has to be a ploy to get the Knicks (or Lakers) to step up and make a good trade offer. The Knicks may be sitting back thinking that they can get Carmelo as a free agent in the summer, but if he floats the idea that he may stay in Denver, it would encourage the Knicks to get something done now.

As for the rumored Carmelo/Bynum swap with the Lakers, Bynum isn’t thinking about it, per ESPN:

Bynum said that he has not been in contact with anyone within the Lakers organization about the possibility of being traded.

“I think they would [contact me] if it was more than a rumor,” Bynum said. “No one’s really said anything.”

Bynum has never been traded, so I’m not sure if his “they’d tell me” line of thinking is entirely accurate. Like anything else, management will wait as long as they can before informing a player/employee about something of this magnitude. They wouldn’t want to disrupt his morale until a move was definite.

But again, the Laker rumor was probably just a ploy by Anthony’s camp to encourage the Knicks to get something done. Of course, if I were Laker GM Mitch Kupchak, I’d trade Bynum for Anthony in a New York minute.

Rumors and innuendo are fun to discuss, but at this point, I just want something to happen so we can put Carmelo Anthony’s future to bed, at least for a while. I’ve said all along that the Nuggets should have traded him last summer instead of waiting until midseason when all the trade talk would become a distraction for the team. The Nuggets are just 30-23 and are in the #7 spot in the West. They’re on pace for 46 wins, and considering the franchise has been a 50-win team over the past three seasons, the rumor mill is clearly having a negative impact on the franchise.

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