That headline is not a joke, unless Newsday's Alan Hahn is pulling an elaborate rouse. Hahn reports that the Denver Nuggets are demanding rookie Russian center Timofey Mozgov in a proposed trade that would send All-Star Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Mozgov, 24, is averaging four points and three rebounds a game for New York this season.
The Knicks signed Mozgov to a three-year contract worth $8 million last summer, but coach Mike D'Antoni has been hesistant to use him too often, instead opting for veteran Ronny Turiaf or a line-up starring Amar'e Stoudemire at center. Losing Mozgov, though, would hurt D'Antonio's flexibility, assuming he'd like Anthony and Stoudemire to play their natural positions (small and power forward, respectively) in a potential playoff match-up with traditionally sized teams like the Celtics or Bulls.
Earlier Sunday, the Knicks reportedly presented a final offer that did not include Mozgov or rookie Landry Fields. Hahn reports that if the Knicks won't include Mozgov, the Nuggets will instead deal 'Melo to the New Jersey Nets. But it remains unclear whether Anthony would sign an extension with New Jersey. If he doesn't, the Nets won't trade for him.