On the court, the New Jersey Nets are off to a 2-0 start to the 2010-2011 NBA season. Off the court, they appear to be winning the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.
According to a published report, the Nets are Anthony’s likely landing spot if he is traded this season.
“If he’s moved before Christmas, I think the Nets have a pretty good chance,” said an NBA executive.
League sources believe the Nuggets will realize they have to move Anthony before the Feb. 24 trade deadline or they could lose him as a free agent over the summer, especially since Anthony has put it out there that he wants a change of scenery.
The Nuggets could decide to wait until Dec. 15 to trade Anthony, because that’s when teams can move players they signed in the off-season. It’s possible another team could offer something Denver likes better than what the Nets have.
The Nets have offered Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy and two No. 1 draft picks, but could expand it to include Kris Humphries. The only untouchable on the Nets remains Brook Lopez.
The Nets also would be willing to take back more pieces from the Nuggets, who want to cut payroll and avoid a luxury-tax hit if they deal Anthony. They want to get a deal done and have been the most active in talks for the star small forward.
Reportedly, Anthony is not sold on the Nets, but they only would commit to a deal if he agreed to sign a three-year, $65 million extension. His top two choices remain the Knicks and Bulls. But they don’t have as much to offer in the way of draft picks, short-term salary relief and long-term cap space. The contracts of Murphy and Humphries are up after this season.