Carmelo is expected to give Nets an answer today

East All Star Amare Stoudamire (L) of the New York Knicks and West All Star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets look for a rebound during the NBA All-Star basketball game in Los Angeles, February 20, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The New York Post has the story:

Carmelo Anthony is expected to inform the Nets by today at the latest whether or not he will accept a trade to New Jersey and sign an extension to play there, sources told The Post last night.

There were reports that the Nets’ meeting with Carmelo didn’t go all that well, but owner Mikhail Prokhorov called the meeting “fantastic” and thinks his team has a shot. (Doesn’t this sound like “The Decision: Carmelo Anthony” at this point?)

Per ESPN, Prokhorov seemed content with having driven up the price for the Knicks.

“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force [the] Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov said. “So it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.”

I mentioned that this might be his strategy in a post from last Thursday.

This could turn out to be a savvy move by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. He felt like his team was getting played by the Nuggets and/or Carmelo, and he ordered management to back off. Now that the trade deadline is quickly approaching, he sees that the Knicks may get Anthony for nearly nothing, and by reentering trade talks, at the very least he should be able to drive the price up on any forthcoming Knicks/Nuggets trade, hurting the rival Knicks long term.

At the very least, Prokhorov’s involvement upped the ante for the Knicks and hurt them long term by forcing New York to give up an extra starter or two.

The Nuggets have a game on Tuesday, and if Carmelo suits up and plays, it means that nothing is close to getting done. I’d expect the Nuggets to hold him out of Tuesday’s game just to be safe. After all, the trade deadline is on Thursday — why take on the injury risk?

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