If you're like me, you're probably wondering why the New Jersey Nets seem so willing to let the Denver Nuggets increase their demands in the latest Carmelo Anthony trade. Now, we may have an answer to that question.
It appears that owner Mikhail Prokhorov, unsurprisingly, is desperate for a big splash and a superstar that he can market when the team moves to Brooklyn. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Prokhorov's desire is so strong that he is "hellbent" on landing Anthony no matter what.
The thought of pulling out of the Anthony drama has crossed the minds of Nets GM Billy King and coach Avery Johnson, sources said. They aren't adverse to staying the course with Derrick Favors, the multiple draft picks and building a franchise a sure, methodical way.
Nevertheless, ownership is hellbent on acquiring Anthony. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov had talked a big game about making a splash over the summer and was shut out of the storied free-agent class. Prokhorov wants Anthony for the cachet he'll bring in the New York area, and, most of all, wants him for the team's 2012 move into the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn.
In fact, Prokhorov is so confident in his abilities that he was willing to trade for Anthony without assurances that he would sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension, according to Wojnarowski. Prokhorov, Wojnarowski writes, felt like he could have convinced Anthony to stay anyway, even without a guarantee.
Perhaps this is why Denver keeps raising the demands for Anthony's services. If Prokhorov is willing to trade anything for him, why not make him pay?