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Broussard: Knicks, Nuggets in 3-team talks for Melo

Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony looks at

Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony looks at a referee during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat. (Jan. 13, 2011) Credit: AP

 ESPN's Chris Broussard posted a report late Saturday night that outlined one Carmelo Anthony trade scenario under discussion between the Knicks and Nuggets that would involve the Timberwolves as a third team.

According to Broussard, the deal would result in the Knicks basically giving up only Wilson Chandler out of their rotation, with Chandler going to Denver and Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph going to the Timberwolves, who would then flip a first round pick to Denver and Corey Brewer.

A person with knowledge of the situation late last night said there was nothing imminent -- Broussard said a deal could be done by the middle of this week at the earliest. The source told me the Nuggets have no reason to rush into this trade and likely won't. They have until the Feb. 24 trade deadline to complete any trade with the Knicks and, perhaps, may hold out to get a little more in the deal. David Kahn, who is determiend to collect as many young assets as possible, has talked to Donnie Walsh since the fall about helping him get this deal done. Randolph has been a target.

The Knicks certainly love this scenario because it only takes one player out of their rotation in Chandler and while they lose one coveted young player, they would be able to keep two others in Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields.

This deal is actually good for Denver in one way: with Eddy Curry's $11.2M expiring salary absorbed by Minnesota, the Nuggets have immediate, significant cash savings in luxury tax and payroll -- something we've told you is important to owner Stan Kroenke. But that's always a tough sell to fans. The Nets were willing to give up a lot more in assets, but couldn't come up with a way to save the Nuggets cash.

And as we reported in today's Newsday, the Nuggets are also considering other scenarios and want to get an understanding of the next collective bargaining agreement from the annual Board of Governors meeting at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. A source told me that the Nuggets are curious about the possibility of an NFL-style franchise tag, which they could use to keep Anthony, though there would still be some risk involved.

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