September 24, 2010

The Nets are "deeply into" trade discussions with Denver, Utah and Charlotte that would bring Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey, an executive briefed on the talks told on Friday.

The four-team deal has "many moving parts," the executive said, but Denver would receive No. 3 pick Derrick Favors from New Jersey and multiple draft picks. reported that Denver would also get forward Andrei Kirilenko from Utah, while Charlotte would get point guard Devin Harris from New Jersey and the Jazz would obtain forward Boris Diaw from the Bobcats.

A potential holdup is Anthony's willingness to accept a contract extension with New Jersey. The source said Anthony's refusal to do so would be "a deal breaker." Anthony, who has declined to sign Denver's three-year, $65 million extension offer, can become a free agent after this season.

The executive said the deal was not imminent.

The New York Daily News reported on Saturday that Anthony had approved the trade to New Jersey. But with that news comes reports that the Nuggets could now be holding up the mega-deal by gauging other teams' interest at the final hour.

Denver is said to want young players, draft picks and salary-cap flexibility in a trade for Anthony. The Knicks have long been considered Anthony's preferred destination, but New York lacks draft picks to include in a package. Anthony also favors a trade to another big market, Chicago, but the Bulls are reportedly reluctant to part with Joakim Noah, one of their best assets as a 25-year-old big man who averaged 10.7 points and 11 rebounds last season.

Anthony, 26, has spent his entire seven-year career in Denver, averaging 24.7 points and 6.2 rebounds and making the All-Star team three times. The Nuggets reached the Western Conference finals in 2009, but they've lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of Anthony's other six seasons.

The Nets, flush with cap space and coming off a 12-win season, failed to make a big splash in free agency under their new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, during an offseason in which they also hired Avery Johnson as coach and drafted 19-year-old power forward Favors. Instead, the Nets signed complementary players such as forward Travis Outlaw and guards Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar, and they acquired power forward Troy Murphy from Indiana as part of a four-team trade.

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