Carmelo Anthony denied he will only sign a contract extension this season if traded to the New York Knicks a day after ESPN reported Anthony's ultimatum. The Denver Nuggets' star small forward told FanHouse's Chris Tomasson that he hasn't told his team's management who he would be willing to sign an extension for.
"No," Anthony said when asked if there's any truth to it. "I haven't talked to Masai (Ujiri, the Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations) about who I would sign an extension with, and who I want to sign with. I've never had that conversation."
That 'Melo hasn't spoken to Ujiri about whether he would sign an extension with the Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats or Houston Rockets -- those are teams believed to be in the running, where "in the running" means "any remote pulse in the race for 'Melo" -- is completely normal. To do otherwise would be to play out free agency completely during the season, which simply isn't done.
LeBron James took eight days and more than six major meetings to figure out free agency, while ESPN and others are reporting that Anthony is doing it on the fly in midseason. That just doesn't make sense, but it won't stop the unstoppable Knicks rumors.
That said, given labor uncertainty past this season, Anthony is certainly under some pressure to sign an extension before season's end. That means committing to the middle-of-the-pack Nuggets or convincing the team to send him east.