Coach hopes Carmelo Anthony stays

Updated: August 22, 2010, 9:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is hoping that all the talk about Carmelo Anthony being traded is just that.

Karl said he has not been told if the Nuggets will or won't deal Anthony, The Denver Post reported. Anthony still has a three-year, $65 million extension offer on the table, but has yet to sign it amid growing speculation that he wants out.

Anthony
Anthony

The Nuggets have held internal discussions about trading Anthony rather than letting him walk away as a free agent, but have not made a decision either way or talked to potential trade partners, two league sources said, according to the report. League sources have told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that it's now a matter of when, not if, Anthony and the Nuggets will part.

Karl said the NBA offseason often spawns what he calls "summer talk" -- and he's hoping that's all the speculation about Anthony turns out to be, according to the report.

"A lot of the summer talk never comes true. That's what I'm hoping is going to be the case with Melo," Karl said.

During his annual basketball camp in Colorado last week, Anthony said he had no timetable on when he'll decide whether to sign the extension. But a league source told Bucher that "[Anthony's] going to make it real clear that he's not coming back."

A source close to Anthony said the player's desire to go elsewhere stems from his feelings that he has not been treated like "a franchise player" by the Nuggets.

Anthony has made great strides in his conditioning and defense the past few years, but he believes credit for the team's emergence into a title contender has been attributed more to the arrival of point guard Chauncey Billups and Karl's coaching, according to the source.

Like Anthony and several other Nuggets players, Karl is in the final year of his contract.

"The one thing I think there's a danger for everybody is that there are a lot of people on a one-year rope," Karl said, according to the report. "And I think that's somewhat dangerous; there's a lot of junk that goes with one-year ropes."

Karl, who plans to return to the bench this season after missing the end of last season to fight throat and neck cancer, is facing uncertainty in other areas.

The team is still searching for a new general manager after declining to extend the contracts of team executives Rex Chapman and Mark Warkentien. There are also questions about when Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen will return from knee surgeries.

The Post reported that according to a team source, Martin and Andersen could miss "significant time" at the start of the season. And Martin said "I'm probably going to miss some of the season," according to the report.

Martin, who is also in the last year of his contract, said he understands Anthony's situation, according to the report.

"I've been there. I turned down $66 million in New Jersey and everybody thought I was crazy," Martin said, according to the report. "My thing is, everybody is rushing this man to sign the extension. Why are they rushing him? He has until July to sign the thing, so why rush? The money will still be on the table."

Karl said he is still undergoing medical tests that he needs to pass, the Post reported.

"But everything is looking good, and if I were a betting man, I would be betting that I'm coaching next season," he said, according to the report.

Information from ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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