Carmelo Anthony at Denver media day
“At the end of the MLB jerseys season, I’ll sit down with my team, I’ll sit down with the Nuggets, and we’ll talk about it. This has been a long summer. I’m just excited to get back to the court.
“I’ve never said I wanted to be traded. I never once said anything about trade talk.”
The Nuggets have been engaging in talks with teams interested in acquiring Anthony. A potential megadeal with the New NFL Jersey Nets hit a snag over the weekend.
The trade, which would involve Charlotte and Utah and make Anthony a member of the Nets, would cost Denver nearly $ 10 million, a reality that is a major problem for the Nuggets, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard.
“Stan Kroenke is not going to pay that much money to take a step backwards,” the source said of the Nuggets’ owner. “They’ll have to find a way for Denver to take on less money for that deal to happen.”
In the proposed deal, which was first reported by ESPN.com on Friday, the Nuggets would receive Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko ($ 17.8 million), New Jersey rookie Derrick Favors ($ 4.1 million) and two future first-round draft picks for Anthony, who makes $ 17.1 million. Their payroll would increase by $ 4.8 million and since they are over the luxury tax, they’d pay another $ 4.8 million, meaning Denver would pay an extra $ 9.6 million this season to become a worse team.
While Denver has not totally nixed the deal, the source told Broussard the financial implications make it very unlikely to happen in its current form.
That goes a long way in explaining Denver’s hesitancy regarding the trade. Several league sources told Broussard that Bret Bearup, a longtime consultant to Kroenke and his son Josh, has wanted to trade Anthony for quite some time, but the money aspect of this deal has kept even him from signing off on the move.
The swirling rumors have put the Nuggets and Anthony in the awkward position of being together on the eve of training camp.
The Nuggets’ new executive vice president of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri, spoke to the media before Anthony, saying he had met with their franchise player but that the details of their talk would remain private.
“But we’re going to keep talking,” Ujiri said. “Melo is a Nugget now, and we’re excited about that.”
The Nuggets began entertaining offers for their superstar after he declined to sign a three-year, $ 65 million extension that’s been on the table since June.
“There’s been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumors going on this summer about where I’m going to end up, the Nuggets want to trade MLB jerseys, I want to be traded,” Anthony said. “That’s for my team and front office to discuss. I’m here to focus on basketball and training camp.”
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