Feb 16, 2011, 7:58 PM EDT
It just felt from the first minutes like this was going to happen.
One source described talks as “progressing” and said they have been ongoing between Denver and New Jersey officials for more than a week. While the precise package being discussed was unclear, sources said talks have centered on a scaled-down package that still includes rookie forward Derrick Favors and draft picks.
The Nets pulled out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes in dramatic fashion when owner Mikhail Prokhorov said he didn’t like how things were progressing. The Nuggets kept delaying and trying to push more bad contracts like Al Harrington into the deal, which meant more teams got involved.
But the two sides still had more to gain from one another than any of the other players in this drama, leading many around the NBA to think the two sides would start talking again.
The Nets always wanted to offer a simple package that involved Favors, the expiring deal of Troy Murphy and a pick or two. Walking away from the table gave them much more leverage in the negotiations.
The Nuggets have always preferred the potential of Favors and the Nets picks to any package the Knicks could put together.
Could this be a false leak designed to spur the Knicks into offering up Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler (and Eddy Curry and a pick) to the Nuggets? You bet. But like we said most people expected the sides to start talking again, so this could very well be legitimate. Which is bad news for the Knicks.
This is a convenient time to start talking again — both Anthony and Prokhorov will be in Los Angeles for the NBA All-Star game this weekend. That gives both a chance to sit down this weekend and for Prokhorov to woo Anthony on New Jersey, Brooklyn and his vision.
The ultimate unknown remains Anthony himself — would he sign an extension to play with the Nets? New Jersey will not do the deal without one. If he meets Prokhorov, will that change his mind?
Still plenty of drama in the ‘Melodrama. And the weekend is just getting started.
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