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Report: Nets re-thinking pursuit of Carmelo Anthony

Dec 30, 2010, 12:01 PM EDT

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The tragic death of Carmelo Anthony’s sister — and the wise decision by the Nuggets to suspend trade talks while he was away from the team —created a de facto cooling of period on the spiraling trade talks for Melo.

It gave teams time to reassess. And with that — and the mixed signals that keep coming out of Denver — the Nets are re-thinking if they should be going after Anthony at all, according to Ken Berger at CBS Sports.

As a result of what one rival executive referred to as the Nuggets having “overplayed their hand” in negotiations with the Nets, frustrated New Jersey officials are in the process of “substantively” re-evaluating their pursuit of Anthony, a three-time All-Star who has refused to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets…

In view of their frustration, the Nets have not yet gotten to the point where they’re ready to pull all their chips off the table. But it’s clear that the Nets are “sick of the whole charade,” according to one source and have “backed away,” according to another.

The Nets reported offer includes rookie Derrick Favors and the expiring contract of Troy Murphy, plus draft picks. There are a variety of variations of this trade that involve other teams, but Favors/Murphy/picks remains at the core of it.

Denver has been patient, waiting for better offers to develop while trying to convince Anthony to stay with the team. But that’s just what the Raptors did with Vince Carter when he was angling his way out of Toronto and they ended up with a worse offer.

Now, remember to put all these rumors in the context of a negotiation. It is a negotiating tactic for the Nuggets, as they try to spur teams to make bigger offers. At the same time, a report of impatience on the part of the Nets gets leaked because they want to get this thing done and probably are getting frustrated waiting. They don’t want any big late offers, so they hint that their currently-best offer may come off the table.

In the end, Carmelo Anthony has the biggest hammer in the New Jersey talks — will he sign an extension to be with the Nets and spend a season and a half in Newark before the move to Brooklyn? If no, the Nets are out. If yes, this is still the most likely deal to get done.

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