Were you under the impression that the Nuggets had never seriously considered trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks just because the Knicks didn’t have enough to offer back, especially in terms of attractive draft picks? You’re not alone. Donnie Walsh would have told you the same thing. But ESPN’s Chris Broussard’s reports that the Nuggets also believed the Knicks did some “back-channel recruiting” of Anthony, and according to his source, “are thus determined not to work with the Knicks except as a last resort.”
Walsh denied it, saying “Pretty quickly, we didn’t think they saw a trade with us,” and adding that “This is the first I’ve heard of it and I’ve talked to their general manager a couple of times.” In any case, the whole situation is playing out exactly as the Knicks had wanted: The proposed four-team trade that would have sent Anthony to the Nets is now dead. Which isn’t to say Carmelo won’t still be traded — but this particular deal would have involved a contract extension, thus dashing the Knicks hopes.
In fact, if we may read into a couple of paraphrased words from an unnamed source in the 23rd paragraph of an ESPN.com column — a traditionally solid way to gather information — what’s this “last resort” all about? Is there still a scenario where the Nuggets would trade Anthony to the Knicks, even as a last resort? How many other teams would need to get involved for this to happen? How desperate would the Nuggets have to be to accept relatively weak offer? Will we ever find out? Probably not. The Knicks’ plan, for now, is still just to wait it out until July 1. It’s working so far.