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The Nets Are Still Working on That Carmelo Anthony Trade

The Nets have already seen one blockbuster trade that would have brought Carmelo Anthony to Newark (and, eventually, to Brooklyn) fall apart. But the latest talks, centering around a proposed three-team deal involving the Pistons, are "further along" than any of their previous efforts, with one ESPN report describing the Nets as being on the "brink" of acquiring Anthony and, for that matter, pretty much an entirely new roster.

The particulars of the proposed trade, via the Bergen Record:

In the franchise-changing trade - first reported by The Record on Friday -- the Nets would send Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Graham, Quinton Ross, Ben Uzoh and two first-round picks to Denver, and Troy Murphy's expiring contract and Johan Petro to Detroit.

The Nets would receive Anthony, [Chauncey] Billups - who would report, despite stories that he may seek a buy out -- veteran point guard Anthony Carter and big man Shelden Williams from Denver, and [Richard] Hamilton and small forward DaJuan Summers from Detroit.

(That thing about Billiups seeking a buyout if he's traded, by the way, comes directly from the player's agent, who says his client has told the Nuggets he wants to finish his career in Denver.)

As has been the case all along, everything depends on Anthony signing an extension with the Nets, which Adrian Wojnarowski reported back in December he'd be "inclined to do" if the Nets also obtained "significant talent with him." So perhaps that a trade to the Nets could advance this far — and that Anthony could sign that extension if it's finalized — shouldn't come as a total surprise.

Still, Chris Sheridan today brings up some of the more baffling aspects of the trade, namely why Anthony would agree to it (or, more accurately, to the extension with New Jersey) now, with the trade deadline still six weeks away — particularly when it's believed his preferred destination is the Knicks, not the Nets. (Sheridan says the Knicks "are best described as flabbergasted" by all of this.) This, by the way, seems like a good place to mention that it was Sheridan who reported last month that Anthony told the Nuggets he would sign an extension with only the Knicks. (Shortly thereafter, Peter Vescey called that report a "fairy tale" and a "fake" account.)

Wojnarowski's December report, meanwhile, explained that Anthony is reluctant to enter free agency under the terms of a new, presumably more restrictive collective bargaining agreement. Perhaps that doesn't explain why he'd agree to sign an extension with the Nets now, but it might explain why he'd be willing to sign one at some point, particularly if his agents are indeed pushing for the trade and the extension and the commission they'd receive on his next deal.

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