Carmelo Anthony trade rumors continue to fly in advance of the NBA trade deadline at 3 PM Eastern on Feb. 24. New York Knicks rumors, in particular, remain in high supply. The latest incarnation comes from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who reports that as recently as Monday the Denver Nuggets put the price of 'Melo at Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, another starter (which would mean Wilson Chandler or Timofey Mozgov, apparently), Eddy Curry's expiring contract and a first-round pick. The Knicks would get Chauncey Billups in such a deal.
The Knicks have balked at that sort of deal, and it remains to be seen whether Denver will lower its asking price for New York specifically. A few reporters have cited sources who maintain that 'Melo will sign an extension with no team other than the Knicks; as such, offers from other teams that would "rent" 'Melo until his free agency this summer will be much lower than what the Knicks could convince themselves to give up (in theory).
But as New York believes itself to be Anthony's choice should he reach free agency, the franchise remains unwilling to mortgage the farm for a two-month head start on the 'Melo era. Meanwhile, the Nuggets reportedly believe that if they don't get a package they want before the deadline, they can convince Anthony to sign an extension before a potential lockout strikes on July 1. But Denver has just a tenuous grasp on a playoff spot out West, and without a 'Melo extension guaranteed, it remains difficult to believe the Nuggets will end the months of negotiation to roll the dice in the offseason, when guys like Amar'e Stoudemire (Anthony's friend and chief recruiter) will have basically unfettered access.