As the NBA Trade Deadline approaches, everyone seems to be waiting to see if Carmelo Anthony will be dealt. Portland Trail Blazers general manager Rich Cho admitted as much in a recent podcast. So what is the latest on Anthony's status? As of right now, it looks like the Nuggets are ready to deal him, and the Knicks are the only serious suitors, with the Nets, Rockets and Lakers not a part of the picture.
Alan Hahn of Newsday reports that the parameters of an Anthony trade "have been set," and the only thing holding it up is what happens once more players are involved. The Knicks have committed to trading either Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler, and a proposed Raymond Felton-Chauncey Billups swap is not a dealbreaker either, but the Nuggets continue to ask for more pieces. Hahn describes the Nuggets' philosophy as coming "from the pages of the children's classic, 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.'"
So if not the Knicks, then who? Hahn reports that the Nets remain out of the picture after announcing as much last month, and the Rockets, who were considering making a move around Yao Ming's expiring contract, are also out because Anthony does not want to sign an extension there. The Lakers, who were rumored to have offered Andrew Bynum for Anthony, are out too, though truthfully, they were never really in. That leaves one darkhorse, according to Hahn.
At this point, a source with knowledge of the situation said the biggest -- and perhaps last -- remaining threat to the Knicks could be the Dallas Mavericks.
Though Mark Cuban hinted recently that he would be willing to trade for a superstar without an extension, the source said Anthony would be amenable to signing an extension with the Mavs, who are already a championship contender and yet have a huge hole at small forward after the injury to Caron Butler.
Other rumors floating out there today:
- The Mavericks that went on record don't see a trade happening, even though owner Mark Cuban said that this year is like any other year in that trades tend to all happen at the last minute. Butler, who has an expiring contract that could be used to land Anthony, not only expects to return from his injury by playoff time, but also expects the Mavericks will keep him even beyond this season. He told Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas that he sees himself with the Mavericks "for years to come."
- Jason Terry also doesn't think the Mavericks will make a trade, telling the Fort Werth Star-Telegram that he doesn't see anything that would "surprise the heck out of me."
- The New Orleans Hornets are looking for more help as they make a playoff push, and have talked to the Nuggets about shooting guard J.R. Smith, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. They have also talked to Cleveland about Antawn Jamison, but are worried about his hefty contract. The Chicago Bulls are also making calls on Smith, but they are worried he will mess up their chemistry, according to Wojnarowski.
- The Nets continue to search desperately for a taker for Troy Murphy, who was involved in Anthony trade talks before the Nets took themselves out of the chase. General manager Billy King said he thinks "something will come" before the deadline. However, Wojnarowski reports that nothing is cooking there and that Murphy is instead likely to be bought out. At that point, the Hornets and a slew of other contenders would have interest.
- The Orlando Magic made a big trade already, but they still have needs. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post runs down what they may have to offer teams.
- The Philadelphia 76ers are playing well, but have a free-agent decision looming with sixth man extraordinaire Thaddeus Young. Sam Amico of FOX Sports reports the team has been calling around to see what they could get in a trade for him. SB Nation's 76ers blog Liberty Ballers approves of the team looking to sell high on Young before they must re-sign him.
- The Cavaliers continue to offer shooting guard Anthony Parker around, as he's drawing interest, according to a Cleveland paper. They offered him to the Bulls for young Turkish center Omer Asik, but the Bulls refused.
- The Nets and Phoenix Suns are looking to move Travis Outlaw and Josh Childress, their disappointing small forward signings this summer, according to Wojnarowski.