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Report: New Jersey Nets Front-Runners If Denver Nuggets Trade Carmelo Anthony

The Denver Nuggets have not come out publicly to say that they are actively pursuing trade offers for Carmelo Anthony, but ESPN reports that, when they do, the New Jersey Nets are currently – apparently – the leading option.

Several league sources on Monday told ESPN.com that they believe the Nets have emerged as the front-runner to secure Anthony. Not only is Anthony willing to sign a contract extension with the Nets, sources say the club is willing to make an intriguing offer of Derrick Favors (the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft), the expiring contracts of Troy Murphy and Kris Humphries and at least one future first-round pick to Denver to land Anthony.

A source close to the Nets told ESPN.com that he wasn’t ready to concede that the Nets were the front-runners for Anthony’s services, nor were they willing to confirm what the Nets would offer. However, the source did acknowledge that New Jersey was in serious consideration based on the Nuggets’ reluctance to trade Anthony to a Western Conference team and the Nets’ combination of expiring contracts, draft picks and a young player with serious upside.

While trading Favors, Murphy and Humphries would no doubt leave a gaping hole in the frontcourt of the Nets, getting a star player like Anthony might just be worth it in the eyes of new owner Mikhail Prokhorov.