Carmelo deal to Nets dead; Knicks alive?

Carmelo Anthony of USAB practices with young athletes

Carmelo Anthony of USAB practices with young athletes during the World Basketball Festival at Rucker Park. (Aug. 13, 2010) (Credit: Getty Images)

So the Knicks aren't out of the running for Carmelo Anthony after all.

This past weekend, it seemed as if the Knicks' worst nightmare was going to come true, that the player they most coveted was going to end up playing across the Hudson River for the New Jersey Nets.

Late Tuesday, however, a Nets official confirmed that the four-team deal that would have brought Anthony to New Jersey was dead. The Nets are said to have called off the deal because Denver was dragging its feet and trade rumors were becoming too much of a distraction.

The deal, which also would have included Utah and Charlotte, likely would have involved both Nets rookie Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh said he is always skeptical about a deal until it happens. "That's today and yesterday it was a done deal," Walsh said. "I think there's a lot of posturing going on out there."

Posturing or not, the fact that Anthony isn't a Net means that there's still a chance that he could be a Knick. That wasn't lost on Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire.

"That would be great," Stoudemire said about the prospect of Anthony joining the Knicks. But right now, we have to focus on what we have here. We can't have an distractions."

Anthony becomes a free agent next summer. Though Denver would like to keep Anthony, they almost certainly will trade him if he doesn't make a commitment before the February trade deadline.

Time could very well be on the Knicks side. Earlier in the day, Walsh shot down a report that Denver wasn't dealing with the Knicks because they thought the Knicks had done some "back channel" tampering with Anthony.

"I don't think that's true," Walsh said. "My understanding was they don't want to deal with us because the don't think we have the players."

Eleven of the Knicks 16 players are new to the team, and Walsh thinks as the season goes on, there may be more interest in his players.

"We don't know the value of these players and the league doesn't know the value of these players," Walsh said. "I feel if we get into the season, the value of the players will go up."

"In general, I've heard that New York just doesn't have the pieces. We have the pieces, you just don't know it."

Of course, the one piece they'd really love to have is still in Denver. Anthony, who was married in New York this summer, likes the city. He also is friends with Stoudemire, and the two shared a suite at the Jay-Z concert at Yankee Stadium recently.

But if Stoudemire knows what Anthony is going to do, he's not tipping his hand.

Said Stoudemire: "I think Carmelo is going to make the best decision for his family and him."

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