Nuggets would trade Felton; Nets preparing Plan B

Marc Stein reports that the Nuggets would trade Ray Felton if he’s acquired in the Carmelo trade.

Meanwhile, Chris Broussard is reporting that the Nets and Nuggets are working on a post-Carmelo deal for one or two (former) Knicks.

If the Nets and Nuggets are discussing a post-Carmelo deal, it seems like the writing is on the wall. Carmelo will become a Knick over the next few days, and it sounds like Timofey Mozgov, Ray Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler could all be included in the deal.

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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?

Your Sunday morning Carmelo update

The Nets had their chance to pitch Camp Carmelo on their plans for the future when the two sides met at a Los Angeles restaurant, per ESPN.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z spent the 40-minute session informing Anthony of the club’s short-term and long-term vision, centered upon their scheduled move to Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season and their confidence in building a championship-caliber team around him, largely through free agency.

Sources said Anthony was noncommittal after hearing the Nets’ presentation, declining to say whether or not he would sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension that New Jersey has established as a prerequisite for completing a trade with Denver.

According to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets were not confident after the meeting.

After Carmelo Anthony sit-down with New Jersey ownership, “The Nets didn’t come away very confident,” a source briefed on meeting tells Y!

Wojnarowski also published a column early Sunday morning that outlines the growing influence that Isiah Thomas — yes, Isiah Thomas — has over owner James Dolan, who has taken over the Knicks’ trade negotiations with the Nuggets.

“Isiah is calling the shots for New York,” said one front-office executive with knowledge of the Anthony trade talks. “It’s a disgrace. Donnie should walk.”

Dolan has overruled Walsh in these trade talks and undermined his authority. Walsh has never wanted to give away Raymond Felton for an aging Chauncey Billups and throw Danilo Gallinari into the package, too. This is all Isiah, all his influence.

This all comes down to Carmelo. While most stars wouldn’t want his future team to be gutted in order to acquire him — remember those Kobe-to-Chicago rumors from a few years ago? — Carmelo just wants the Knicks to give the Nuggets enough to get this deal done before Thursday’s trade deadline. He wants to play for the Knicks and he wants his three years and $65 million in security. A supporting cast is a distant third on his wishlist, apparently. Unless he’s suddenly willing to re-up with the Nets, he’ll be a Knick by the end of the week.

As for the reemergence of Thomas as the de facto GM in New York — well, that’s just disturbing. Isiah can evaluate talent and had a pretty good run of drafts when he ran the Knicks, but in every other area of the job he was a complete disaster. Knicks fans have to be troubled by these recent developments.

Ric Bucher says that any deal won’t get done until Monday because the league does not want the awkward situation of Carmelo playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game for the West, when he actually belongs to a team in the East.

Dolan now in charge; Carmelo trade could drop as early as Saturday

Sophomore Team coach Carmelo Anthony (R) of the Denver Nuggets sits with his son Kiyan during the Rookie Challenge as part of the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, California, February 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reports that Knicks owner James Dolan has taken over negotiations with the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony’s future is now in James Dolan’s hands.

Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, could decide as early as Saturday whether to agree to a blockbuster deal with the Denver Nuggets or risk losing the All-Star forward to the Nets.

Isola’s piece isn’t specific about the parameters of the trade because it doesn’t sound like the Knicks have decided who they are (and aren’t) willing to give up.

Dolan apparently included Danilo Gallinari in the latest version of the trade, but Ray Felton, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mosgov and Anthony Randolph have also been mentioned in these trade talks.

GM Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni are apparently against doing the trade, so if Dolan does pull it off, look for the Knicks to give up Gallinari and Felton, along with two or three of Fields, Chandler, Mosgov and Randolph. If Felton is included, the Knicks would likely get Chauncey Billups in return.

The Nuggets feel like they have some leverage since they have agreed in principle to a trade with the Nets, but if Anthony isn’t willing to sign the extension with New Jersey, it won’t matter. He’s reportedly irritated that the Knicks haven’t done more to get the trade done, and that irritation could lead to a sudden willingness to play with the Nets if he’s faced with playing for the Nuggets the rest of the year.

Carmelo meets with the Knicks, denies meeting with the Nets

Per ESPN…

Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks owner James Dolan met on Thursday night in Los Angeles, the New York Daily News reported on Friday afternoon.

The newspaper also reported that the executive of the Knicks and Denver Nuggets were set to hold a conference call on Friday afternoon to discuss a deal involving Anthony, who has been the subject of trade rumors to the Knicks and New Jersey Nets for the past several months.

As for the Nets…

Anthony, speaking Friday at a NBA Cares Day of Service event in Los Angeles, said “no meeting at all” is scheduled with the Nets. Calling it “news to me,” Anthony said: “If I was to meet with that guy [Prokhorov] to be honest I really don’t know what I would say.”

“If I was to meet with that guy…”

Wow.

So both Prokhorov’s spokeswoman and Anthony are denying that there’s a meeting scheduled, yet there are reports that the Nets and Nuggets have come to terms on a deal.

I can’t wait for this to be over.

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