Despite an ESPN report claiming Carmelo Anthony would only sign a contract extension if traded to the New York Knicks, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports that the New Jersey Nets remain a viable option for Melo.
ESPN's Chris Sheridan reported after Sunday's Nuggets-Knicks matinee that Anthony had narrowed his focus on the Knicks. Hochman cited sources who said, as has been the case as fall, the Nets remain a possibility, largely because the team has assets to pull off a midseason trade and is scheduled to move to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season.
The Knicks have fewer tradable assets, and would have more trouble convincing the Nuggets to execute a trade. If the Nuggets don't trade Anthony this season, he could leave as an unrestricted free agent in July, barring an NBA lockout. In such a scenario, Denver would potentially get nothing in return, just as the Raptors and Cavaliers struck out with Chris Bosh and LeBron James last summer.
Throughout the preseason, the top rumor involved Melo heading to New Jersey for a package headlined by rookie Derrick Favors. The Knicks have no young player of Favors' repute, and would likely be hesitant to include sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari in a trade for Anthony when it appears so likely that New York could pick Melo up in free agency if no midseason trade goes down.
This season, Anthony is averaging 23.9 points a game. His Nuggets are 14-9, in sixth place in the West. The Knicks stand at 16-9 (fifth in the East) and the Nets are at 6-18 (tied for the second worst record in the NBA).