Sunday, February 20, 2011

Despite Carmelo Anthony meeting with Nets, Knicks remain the favorties to trade with Nuggets: source

Despite Carmelo Anthony meeting with Nets, Knicks remain the favorties to trade with Nuggets: source

Mikhail Prokhorov finally got his big sit-down with Carmelo Anthony Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, but it may not be enough to prevent James Dolan from acquiring the All-Star forward.

The Daily News reported Saturday on its website that, according to sources close to the negotiations, Anthony had met with Nets officials, including Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire owner, and rapper Jay-Z, a minority partner.

The Denver Nuggets have already reached a tentative agreement on a nine-player deal with the Nets but would need Anthony to agree to a three-year, $65 million contract extension with Jersey. Anthony, according to a source, would consider the extension but only if the Nuggets can't work out a deal with the Knicks, who remain his top priority.

"It's still the Knicks' deal to make but there are still some things that need to be worked out," the source said.

While Prokhorov was trying to convince Anthony to become the Nets' transcendent star, another Russian was holding up a deal between the Knicks and Nuggets. According to a team source, the Nuggets want rookie center Timofey Mozgov included in the trade but the Knicks have been reluctant to do so.

Yahoo! Sports reported on Friday that the Knicks revised their offer to include Danilo Gallinari. The Knicks would also send Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry and a No. 1 pick to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman.

"I don't know if either side is going to budge," said the source, which suggests that a deal might go down to the wire. The NBA trading deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday.

The News reported on Friday that Dolan had met face-to-face with Anthony and Nuggets president Josh Kroenke on Thursday in Los Angeles. Dolan has taken control of the negotiations from Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who feels that the team is giving up too much for Anthony, who can become a free agent on July 1.

Mike D'Antoni is also against blowing up the roster for Anthony. But both Walsh and the Knicks' coach will likely be overruled by Dolan, who is being advised by Isiah Thomas. The Thomas factor should not be discounted since Thomas convinced Dolan last summer that he had brokered a deal with Anthony to come to New York.

Thomas has assured Dolan that Anthony will not sign an extension with the Nets. But the Nets remain convinced that they can sell Anthony on joining them, as they are scheduled to move to Brooklyn in two years. Anthony was born in Brooklyn before moving to Baltimore as a child. His wife Lala, a television personality, is also a native New Yorker.