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Carmelo Anthony Deal Has Risks for Nets

Carmelo Anthony is not a New Jersey Net yet, and a complicated trade involving four teams could collapse, but a source told the Denver Post today that the proposed trade “has legs.”

If the current trade being discussed goes through, it would send Anthony to the Nets while Denver would acquire Nets’ rookie post Derrick Favors, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft. The Nuggets also would get forward Andrei Kirilenko — and his expiring $18 million contract — from Utah. He averaged 11.9 points per game last season but battled injuries. And, as of late Friday night, the proposed deal would land the Nuggets a 2012 first-round pick from New Jersey, which previously belonged to Golden State.

Anthony is believed to be the only Nuggets player involved in the trade.

The Nets would trade point guard Devin Harris to Charlotte and reserve Quinton Ross to Utah, which would also receive forward Boris Diaw from Charlotte. The source close to the negotiations said there are hurdles because New Jersey is worried about its point guard situation, should it trade Harris, and would try to acquire Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin, if the teams can make it work.

In addition, Anthony must agree to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension in order for the trade to be completed. It’s believed Melo will sign that extension, a source said. The Record in Hackensack, N.J., reported late Friday that Anthony agreed to an extension, citing a league source.

Yahoo! Sports today speculated that if the Nets can pull off the Anthony trade they could be major players for Charlotte Hornets guard Chris Paul when he becomes a free agent in 2012. CBS Sports has a similar report.

Nets Insider looks at the pros and cons of a deal for Anthony.

My take: When you won 12 games a year ago and you keep the best player still on the market away from the star-hungry New York Knicks, there are cons?

The Star-Ledger says the primary risk for the Nets would be dealing away 6-foot-10 rookie Derrick Favors, something it calls “the elephant in the room.”

For me, this is a ‘why not?’ move for the Nets. Anthony is hardly old, he’s one of the best players in the game, he can bring attention and credibility — and maybe some other players — to a team that has not had any of those things for a while.