F Nets Discuss 4-Team Deal to Acquire Anthony - Powcast Sports

Nets Discuss 4-Team Deal to Acquire Anthony

By HOWARD BECK / http://www.nytimes.com

A complex four-team trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey — and renew the dormant rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks — was under discussion Friday as N.B.A. teams prepared to open training camps.

Under the proposed deal, the Nets would obtain Anthony, one of the league’s brightest stars, from the Denver Nuggets. The Nets would send Derrick Favors, the third pick in the 2010 draft, to Denver, and Devin Harris, their starting point guard, to the Charlotte Bobcats. The Nuggets would also receive Andrei Kirilenko from the Utah Jazz, as well as draft picks, and the Jazz would pick up Boris Diaw from Charlotte.

The parameters of the deal were confirmed by a team executive who is not involved in the talks. He requested anonymity while discussing other teams’ business. The proposed trade was first reported by ESPN.com.

The deal is essentially in Anthony’s hands. He can opt out of his contract next summer, and the Nets would want assurances that he wants to play for them in the long term before they give up two valuable players.

The Daily News reported Friday night that Anthony had consented to the trade. A person close to Anthony said that decision had not been made. The person requested anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his relationship with Anthony.

The Nuggets and Anthony could arrange an extend-and-trade deal, with Anthony signing a three-year, $65 million extension upon being traded to the Nets. Kevin Garnett agreed to such an arrangement in 2007 as part of his trade to Boston from Minnesota.

Anthony, who is disenchanted with Nuggets management and the state of the team, has been privately pining for a trade all summer. He listed the Knicks as his preferred destination. But Nuggets officials were not enamored of the Knicks’ young players, and the talks did not go far.

Watching Anthony land in Newark would be another blow to the Knicks, who failed to land their top targets — LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — in July. Instead, they turned to Amar’e Stoudemire, hoping he might provide the impetus for another star to follow.

The Nets are scheduled to move to a new arena in downtown Brooklyn in two years, placing them squarely in competition with the Knicks. Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn, would provide instant star power and credibility and set up a rivalry with Stoudemire, his good friend.

The two had hoped to unite at Madison Square Garden next summer.

“We can’t worry about things we can’t control,” Stoudemire said Friday at the Knicks’ media day. “We have to look at the team we have now, the players we have, and focus in on that and become a better team with what we have now.”

Stoudemire and Anthony spent much of the last week together in New York and attended the Jay-Z/Eminem concert at Yankee Stadium.

“He was in a great mood,” Stoudemire said. “He loves the city of New York. I really don’t know who wouldn’t love the city of New York. This is such a beautiful, great city. And he’s from here. But again, I don’t know how much that plays a factor.”

Anthony, a 6-foot-8 forward, has been one of the top scorers since entering the N.B.A. in 2003, and he led Denver to the Western Conference finals in 2009. He averaged 28.2 points last season, but the Nuggets lost in the first round of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

The trade would plunge the Nuggets into rebuilding mode and would revive the Nets, who lost a franchise-record 70 games last season. The Nets struck out in free agency this summer, failing to land any of the half-dozen stars on the market.

Nets officials declined to comment on widespread reports about the trade. It would be a spectacular opening move for Billy King, the new general manager, and a boost for Avery Johnson, the new coach.

“We have a very strategic plan here,” Johnson, speaking at the Nets’ media day, said of possible trades. “For us to disrupt that plan, it would have to be something we would have to hit a home run with. We don’t have anything like that happening right now.”

If Harris, a former All-Star, is traded, the Nets would be without a proven point guard. Jordan Farmar, signed as a free agent this summer, could inherit the job, unless the Nets can pry D. J. Augustin from the Bobcats.

With Anthony and Brook Lopez, a talented third-year center, the Nets would have an enviable one-two punch and could contend for a playoff spot. They would need a lot more, however, to challenge the elite teams in Miami, Boston and Orlando.

“We’re not going to play in that stratosphere,” Johnson said. “We’re not going to play on that level; we’re going to play on our level.

“We’re not sure what it is going to be right now, and I’m curious for opening night to find out what it’s going to be.”



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