Is ‘Melo New Jersey Bound?

Sources say the New Jersey Nets are close to a three team trade for Carmelo Anthony.

Ed Millerby Ed Miller

Is 'Melo New Jersey Bound?

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It is no secret that small forward Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver and over the weekend the trade rumors continued to swirl around the Nuggets star as sources say the New Jersey Nets are the current frontrunners to land one of the NBA’s elite.


Talks on a three-team trade have continued on Monday with Anthony at the center of a deal between the Nuggets, Nets and Detroit Pistons. The trade would reunite Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton in New Jersey along with Anthony the anonymous source told the Associated Press.


The three teams negotiated throughout the weekend and the source said the deal was “advancing”. The rumored trade has the Nets sending rookie power forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris and at least two others to Denver in the three-team deal that would land them Anthony, Billups, Hamilton, Shelden Williams and Terrico White, who is currently injured.


On the other side of it, the Pistons would get veteran Troy Murphy and center Johan Petro.


The Nets have been interested in acquiring Anthony since the preseason and were close to landing the 26-year-old before a four team deal stalled out just before the start of the season. Anthony is currently ninth in the league in points per game, averaging just under 29 a contest. He also averages 8.2 rebounds a game, which is something the Nets could certainly use.


He will become a free agent next summer and has admitted that he does not plan to sign a contract extension that the Nuggets offered him last summer. New Jersey would be a good fit for the Brooklyn native as it brings him close to home.


There is one big potential problem in the talks of the Nets landing Anthony. The deal could fall apart if he refuses to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nets. Not to mention that Billups has stated he would be reluctant to leave Denver, where he has spent the last two seasons.


Billups and Hamilton could reunite in New Jersey as they were the starting backcourt for the Pistons team that won the 2004 NBA title, so the chemistry would already be in place.


When asked if Anthony played his final game in a Nuggets uniform on Sunday, Anthony made it clear.


“Uh-uh, not at all, I haven’t heard anything. Only, that it’s just been speculation as of right now,” he told the Associated Press.


We expect the Nuggets to get rid of Anthony before the trade deadline in the hopes of getting something for him before he walks this summer. The Nets have remained persistent in their talks and could use a superstar to help put butts in the seats, we will just have to wait and see.