Throughout their pursuit of a trade for Carmelo Anthony the biggest question has really been whether or not the New Jersey Nets could sell Anthony on the idea of signing a long-term extension with the franchise, which moves to Brooklyn in 2012.
ESPN is reporting today that Anthony still has not expressed any willingness to play for the Nets, and that could be the biggest impediment to the on-again, off-again mega-trade.
“He has not agreed to go to New Jersey,” said the source, who speaks regularly with Anthony. “I have never heard him, in all the times we’ve talked, say he’s willing to go to New Jersey. Not once. Personally, I would be stunned if he went there and signed an extension.”
Recent reports have indicated that Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has been the driving force behind the proposed deal between the Nets, Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons. Does anyone else understand why Rose would be pushing a deal Anthony apparently might not want? I don’t.
“He [Rose] may want him to go there,” one source said. “But Melo doesn’t want to be in Jersey. He wants to play in New York.”
Yahoo! Sports, on the other hand, is reporting that Anthony has sent mixed messages about New Jersey.
Anthony has delivered mixed messages on his desire to sign a contract extension with the Nuggets. He’s told two teammates he would ultimately be fine joining the Nets, and pushed his agent, Leon Rose, to help construct a package of players to go to the Nets with him. Nevertheless, Anthony has been wildly back and forth on his willingness to compromise with the Nets over the Knicks.
Yahoo! also reported that Knicks star Amare Stoudemire, who some have said might not want Anthony to join him, has begun trying to recruit him. AOL Fanhouse also reported today Anthony insists his wife’s status as a Brooklyn native and TV star won’t affect any trade.
So, there you have it. The picture really isn’t any clearer, is it?