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Nuggets sit down with Carmelo Anthony to woo him, while Rockets, Clippers wait in the wings

Aug 24, 2010, 8:48 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for canthony_arty.jpgIt still sits there on the table. The elephant in the room. The thing as subtle as an Oliver Stone film — three years, $65 million. Denver’s contract extension offer to Carmelo Anthony. Which he has yet to sign.

Because it sits untouched trade rumors swirl. But the Nuggets don’t want to ship him off, they want is him to sign it, to keep him a mile high. And by extension to keep themselves as contenders.

Last weekend Josh Kroenke — son of owner Stan Kroenke who may well take control of the team soon if Stan completes efforts to buy the St. Louis Rams — flew to Baltimore to sit down with Anthony and sell him on Denver, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. Kroenke wooed, but no resolution was reached — Anthony did not sign the deal.

Denver is expected to hire a general manager soon, with the Suns No. 2 man David Griffin still the frontrunner. As Dell Demps did with Chris Paul in New Orleans, Griffin (or whoever is hired) will sit down with Anthony and try to sell him on his vision, his plans. Even with that, it was important for Kroenke to make the effort as he is the guy that ultimately pulls the strings.

And all that may not be enough.

If Anthony is not going to sign that deal — and he should be clear with Denver of his intentions one way or the other — Denver has no choice but to trade him. They do not want to end up like Cleveland and Toronto, who are starting to rebuild from scratch after losing their superstars with little compensation.

But any trade would need to be an extend-and-trade with the deal Denver has on the table. Anthony could leave as a free agent at the end of the year and sign a new max deal under the new collective bargaining agreement (which will be approved after next summer’s impending lockout), but that likely will cost him $15 million or more in lost wages. That’s a lot of scratch.

Wojnarowski says that Houston is as or more desired of a landing spot by Anthony than New York. The Rockets certainly have pieces to trade for Anthony and it would give them a star player on the perimeter, someone who if matched with a healthy Yao Ming would make them very formidable.

But the Denver Post reports the Clippers are also in the mix. The belief is that Anthony wants to play in an entertainment hub because of his new wife, actress LaLa Vasquez. Los Angeles is that. And they certainly have talent on the roster to trade, although due to contract size center Chris Kaman almost certainly would have to be part of any deal. A stumbling block could be how insistent Denver would be on getting Blake Griffin.

Oh, and if Anthony would approve going to the Clippers. That may be the biggest hurdle of all — his side has never mentioned the Clippers, that came from Denver sources.

  1. heymelo - Aug 24, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Hey Melo… come home to Maryland. Play for the Wizards! They’ll send Josh Howard and Gilbert Arenas to the Nuggets. MAybe a 3rd player if Nuggets include Earl Smith in there.

  2. SunTzu - Aug 24, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Melo is going to New York … if he ever wants to be in the finals or making past the 1st round of the playoffs he will go back home. Dont be an idiot Melo. As a LBJ fan and a new Heat Fan i hope they send you to Houston or the Clippers … im looking for 10 rings and i dont need Melo to cause any interferrance. Come to MIA :D we can def trade some players over there … and renegotiate contracts next year …

  3. Daniel - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    SunTzu…you are going to be really disappointed when you find out that Bosh isn’t a big or strong enough in the low post, and that Lebron still doesn’t know “the secret”. ‘Melo would be an idiot to go to the Knicks. Terrible run franchise, with a coach that doesn’t know the first thing about defense. They have Amare, Felton and Danilo…whoa that’s scary. If Anthony wants to win, he’ll stay far away from Madison Square Garden.

  4. MCLOVIN - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    MELO SHOULD GO TO THE CHI TOWN
    THERE SET UP FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
    RUN . TRADE DENG AND 2 DRAFT PICKS TO MAKE THE DEAL
    NOT SAYING THE WILL WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP BUT THEY WILL BE
    IN THE RUNNING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS

  5. chris - Aug 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    SunTzu – The Knicks will never make it to the Finals (or maybe even the playoffs) until D’Antoni is replaced by someone who knows how to coach.

  6. luffy - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    Agreed, Melo should go to Chicago or Houston but I don’t think Deng and 2 picks would be enough. Deng and Korver/Brewer + a draft pick should do the trick…
    Rose, Korver/Brewer, Melo, Gibson, Noah… Damn…

  7. Chard - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    Funny about some of the comments here to SunTzu – first off… Melo won’t win a championship in Denver, Houston, or The Clips either. Plus EVERYONE knows that the Clips are cursed, so that isn’t going to come to fruition – even for his wife. But, his wife would be more than happy to be back in the Big Apple for her career and family. Keep in mind that Melo LOVES the Garden and he knows New Yorkers love him for what he brought to the ‘Cuse and the state.
    As for D’Antoni not playing defense… like why would that matter with Melo? He played very little defense at the ‘Cuse and none in Denver… but he did excel under D’Antoni’s offense with the National team.
    What most likely is going to happen is that he will end up with the Nets… much to my and other Knick fans’ chagrin.
    My hope is that somehow the Dolans’ give up/lose control of the franchise…. too bad Ol’ George Steinbrenner never took an interest in the Knicks…

  8. Marcus - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    If he wants to win a championship there is only one team that is in position to win a championship. One team that he would be the missing piece to get a ring. That’s in Orlando. If they need a big man, even tho I hate to say it, look how Gortat Is playing for Poland. The Magic have good piece that would keep the nuggets competing. So NY, Houston, NJ can’t offer the one thing the magic can. a chance to go deep in the playoffs and a good chance at a championship ring.

  9. JoJo is Smiling - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Kurt:
    I think you need a course in grammar….or an editor who proof reads what you write.
    Not very well written and certainly not professional grade!

  10. Jay - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Welcome to Houston Melo,place of the next’s NBA championship!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. matt - Aug 25, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    forgot about boozer

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