Carmelo Anthony unsure on extension
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony says he has no timetable on when he'll decide whether to sign the team's $65 million, three-year extension that's been on the table all summer.
During his annual basketball camp at ThunderRidge High School, Anthony said he's displayed his loyalty to Denver and the Nuggets over the last seven seasons, but "I'm just taking my time, figuring out if I want to take that extension or not."
The Nuggets are searching for a new general manager but Anthony said that person won't factor into his decision.
I could wake up tomorrow and they could snatch it off the table. I don't know. I don't know what their mind-set is.” -- Forward Carmelo Anthony
on the Nuggets' $65 million offer
"I think my decision is my decision," Anthony said, according to The Denver Post. "I don't think it's based on who is in the front office or anything like that. I'm going to make my decision based on my feelings."
Anthony could become the headliner of the 2011 free agent class if he decides not to sign the extension or exercise the option on his current contract, which would pay him $18.5 million in 2011-12.
"I could wake up tomorrow and they could snatch it off the table," Anthony said, according to the Denver newspaper. "I don't know. I don't know what their mind-set is."
Anthony said his loyalty to the Nuggets' fanbase and organization has never wavered.
"I've shown that over my seven-year stint here," he said, according to The Denver Post. "I don't think anybody can question that. But at this point in time, I have to do what's best for me and my family. I'm just taking my time, figuring out if I want to take that extension or not."
Anthony has plenty of financial incentives to sign the deal because the league will have a new collective bargaining agreement after next season that is expected to be far less lucrative for players.
So by declining Denver's offer, Anthony could be leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table.
That's a major reason the Nuggets are confident that Anthony will sign their extension offer. Many executives around the league believe he will sign it as well. Under league rules, Anthony has until July 1, 2011 to accept the offer. A Nuggets official told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard recently that Denver will not impose its own earlier deadline on Anthony.
If Anthony doesn't accept the offer, it would seemingly be a sign that he doesn't want to continue his career in Denver.
"We want to come to an agreement," Anthony said, according to The Denver Post. "We just want to go about it the right way. There's a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel now."
Anthony spoke of the urgency for the Nuggets to contend for an NBA championship.
"We still have the same guys on our team that we went to the Western Conference finals with two years ago," Anthony said, according to The Denver Post. "Whatever happened last year -- whether people say it was George Karl's sickness, injuries, whatever it may be -- we didn't get there.
"Now everybody panics. The panic button is on, GMs get fired, it's just a lot that goes on with losing. Hopefully we get back on the right track. Kenyon [Martin] is rehabbing right now, [Chris Andersen] is rehabbing. . . . But everybody seems like they are trying to do what's right to get back."
Nuggets teammate Chauncey Billups, attending a Team USA practice at the New York Knicks' practice facility in Westchester County, said he wouldn't divulge details of Anthony's plans regarding the extension -- or if he knew them at all.
"I'm 100 percent hopeful," Billups said, according to the New York Post. "It's between me and my guy. If y'all have a close personal friend and they're going through something and the media asks, you're not going to expose that. Y'all find out when he wants y'all to know."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard was used in this report.
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