Call it “The Consolation.”
Two months after “The Decision” gutted New Yorkers’ hopes of landing LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, a New York-born three-time All-Star, is quickly becoming the next locally coveted NBA superstar.
The likelihood of the Denver Nuggets dealing their unhappy seventh-year star is the story of the early preseason, with speculation linking the 26-year-old Anthony with the Nets.
Yes, the Nets, not the Knicks, the reportedly preferred destination of Anthony and his new bride, Brooklyn-born singer La La Vazquez.
The Knicks, reports say, lack the draft picks and appealing young stars to package in a deal for the Nuggets — who hold all the cards in a trade scenario — to consider.
“It doesn’t matter all that much what his favorite team is, because I don’t think the Knicks have enough to get it done,” AOL Fanhouse NBA writer Sam Amick said Tuesday. “The Nets obviously can see a real opportunity there to come in and steal the show from the team in their backyard.”
According to ESPN, the Nets’ offer for Anthony is rookie forward Derrick Favors, the No. 3 overall pick in June’s draft; Troy Murphy and Kris Humphries, whose contracts are expiring; and one or more future first-round picks.
Such a deal would allow the Nets to retain their young core of Devin Harris and Brook Lopez and entice Anthony to sign an extension with them.
If the Knicks and Nets don’t get Anthony, it could be because he agrees to the three-year $65 million extension that the Nuggets have had on the table all summer. Or Anthony, who can become a free agent next summer, could be shipped to any number of non-New York destinations, including Houston, Dallas, Portland, New Orleans, Chicago and the L.A. Clippers.