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Combine the most recent ESPN and New York Daily News reports, and the Carmelo Anthony situation has become somewhat less murky. He’ll meet with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Knicks owner James Dolan in Los Angeles at the NBA All-Star Weekend.If true, Prokhorov will likely be trying to get a feel for whether Carmelo Anthony would be amenable to signing an extension with the Brooklyn-bound Nets. Dolan, if at all competent, will be reassuring Anthony that the Knicks do covet him – despite their foot-dragging trade methods – and attempting to discern whether Anthony would be willing to forgo the 3-year, $65-million contract and ink a less lucrative deal with New York this offseason.
Except there’s this line, right at the top of the ESPN story.
New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, through his spokeswoman, has publicly re-stated last month’s proclamation that his team is done chasing a trade for Carmelo Anthony.
“Mikhail has not changed his mind,” Ellen Pinchuk told the Associated Press in an e-mail Thursday.
So are the “unnamed sources” to be believed, or the owner on record stating his team won’t be pursuing Anthony?
As is the case with rumours of this variety, ones that have been tracked all season long and garnered a ton of media interest, it’s important to consider the motivation for the source who leaks the information. Because the media is so interested in any and all ‘Melo news, team executives know that whatever information they disclose will be widely disseminated and digested. It definitely plays a big role in the public perception of the trade negotiations and could actually affect the insider negotiations.
(Compare that with your typical “breaking news” that hasn’t been tracked for weeks on end, where a team executive leaks information just a few hours early of a public announcement, in hopes of finding favour with a wide-reaching reporter who could reciprocate down the line.)
Whether this “unnamed source” is providing this information to build a relationship with ESPN or leaking true information, we’ll never know. But considering Prokhorov’s statement it’s easy to be sceptical.
In all likelihood, this information was doled out by Denver to scare New York. Four first round picks, cap flexibility, and a 19-year-old big man who oozes potential is really a lot to offer. If that was actually on the table, no doubt Denver would have accepted. Immediately.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s ridiculous report that the Nuggets wanted the entire Knicks roster in exchange for ‘Melo was probably released by a Knicks source to placate rabid fans (and radio personalities) demanding the Knicks get it done. Maintaining that “take it or leave it” attitude is crucial to New York’s leverage.
Really, it’s hard to take anything written about the Carmelo Anthony trade at face value. That said, we expect the parameters of the deal are already in place: Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, and Anthony Randolph for Anthony and Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets are merely hoping to fall into a better offer, while the Knicks are preparing their fans for the worst-case scenario.
‘Til then, it’s another day, another rumour.