The Knicks remain very interested in Carmelo Anthony, and confidants of the three-time All-Star say the feeling is mutual.
The Denver Nuggets certainly are aware of the prospect of enduring the same unenviable fate the Cleveland Cavaliers experienced with LeBron James over the last year. But despite recent reports about Anthony's uncertain future with the Nuggets, a trade involving Anthony isn't imminent, NBA sources told Newsday. In fact, it is unlikely the Nuggets would even engage in any conversations involving their superstar forward at this point of the offseason because, as one source said about the Nuggets, "There's no one to talk to there."
Denver is still searching for a general manager to replace Mark Warkentien, whose contract was not renewed this summer. The team also let go Rex Chapman, vice president of player personnel. Former Suns executive David Griffin is believed to have the inside track. Bret Bearup (Harborfields High School) is an adviser to Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, but Bearup is not believed to be a point person when it comes to talking trades, especially not for a blockbuster deal that would involve the franchise's star player.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh talked with Warkentien earlier in the summer, according to multiple sources, but there have been no discussions between the teams after the front-office changes in Denver.
The Knicks could wait for next summer and sign Anthony to a max contract, but the Nuggets could trade Anthony before then to get maximum value rather than be left empty-handed like the Cavaliers were when James bolted to Miami in July. But there is no rush for Denver at this point.
"This is something that's going to linger," said a person with direct knowledge of the situation. In fact, it could linger through the 2010-11 season and up to the trade deadline in February.
The best the Knicks can offer would be a multi-player deal that starts with Danilo Gallinari, who is the prized asset of the franchise. The Knicks also likely would include Eddy Curry's $11.2-million expiring contract to help match Anthony's $17.1-million salary. The Knicks also would want Anthony to agree to a long-term extension as part of the trade agreement, which gives Anthony some leverage. Other teams, such as Orlando, reportedly are also on Anthony's list of preferred destinations, but the Knicks believe they are his top choice.