Carmelo Anthony: Not about money

Carmelo Anthony is ready to start the season with the Denver Nuggets, letting a three-year, $65 million extension sit on the table, giving him the flexibility he has always wanted.

"I always said I wanted to keep my options open," Anthony said Tuesday on "The Scott Van Pelt Show" on ESPN Radio. "But as far as the money that's on the table, I understand the money that's on the table. I understand it's a lot. But it's more than the money. Right now I'm here, I'm with the Nuggets, and I'm ready for the season to start."

ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reports that the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets are in hot pursuit of Anthony. A source told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan that the Chicago Bulls, Anthony's second choice, remained in the Melo mix, although the contract extension Chicago reached earlier this month with Joakim Noah would preclude him from being included in any deal the Bulls would put together.

If Anthony plays out the season in Denver, he would be the headliner of the 2011 free-agent class. The Nuggets have until the February trade deadline to deal him.

"Right now I'm here," said Anthony, who also put his Denver-area mansion on the market earlier this year. "As of right now I'm starting the game against Utah [on Wednesday] on our home court which I'm excited about. I can't predict the future so whatever is going to happen is going to happen. But right now I'm just focusing on the upcoming season."