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It appears that the Denver Nuggets have finally come to grips with the inevitable: they’re going to have to trade Carmelo Anthony. Rather than lose him for nothing via free agency next summer, the Nuggets are now prepared to trade Carmelo if he doesn’t sign an extension by the February 24 trade deadline.
The Nuggets have offered Anthony a three-year, $65 million extension, but he is apparently determined to leave Denver. Or at least test the free agent market.
There has been plenty of speculation that Carmelo wants to play for the New York Knicks, but the Knicks have few trade assets that Denver desires. The problem is that there may not be any other trade partners left, as no one would want to part with the considerable package of players and picks it would cost to get Anthony without reassurances that the player would sign an extension with them.
The New Jersey Nets have reportedly offered Derrick favours, Devin Harris, Kris Humphries (who has an expiring contract), and two first-round picks to Denver, but would be unwilling to part with that package unless Anthony is willing to sign.
The Nuggets may hold onto Carmelo as long as possible because as soon as they trade him for a first-round pick, the value of that selection would decrease as Melo’s new team would surely shoot up the standings.
It is possible that Denver may ride out the season with Carmelo to a likely playoff berth and then attempt to complete a sign-and-trade in the offseason as the Miami Heat did with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
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