Sources: Three-team deal discussed

Updated: February 7, 2011, 3:20 AM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

The Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks are discussing a three-team trade that would make forward Carmelo Anthony a Knick before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, according to league sources.

In the proposed trade, New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York.

A Timberwolves source told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher on Sunday that the team would not approve of a deal where the team received just New York's Randolph and Curry with Brewer and a first-rounder heading to Denver. While these are the names currently being discussed, additional players could be added to make a deal possible, sources said.

The deal is not expected to happen until the middle of next week at the earliest, and one source said it could drag out until the trade deadline. Denver, which has been exchanging proposals with the Knicks for the past couple weeks, is weighing other options.

With teams aware of Anthony's desire to play in New York, the Nuggets' choices are limited. With little chance of signing Anthony long-term, few clubs are willing to send valuable assets to Denver.

If the trade with New York and Minnesota goes through, Anthony would be in line to receive a three-year, $65 million contract extension as part of the agreement in what is known as an extend-and-trade.

Since Anthony's preference to play for New York is known, there is some sentiment within the Knicks organization to hold off on trading for him and wait until he becomes a free agent this summer. Such a move would enable them to keep their young assets.

But owner James Dolan has been pressing team president Donnie Walsh to trade for Anthony before the deadline, according to sources.

"Dolan is really pressuring Walsh to get Melo, but Denver has been vacillating back and forth," one of the sources said.

A trade to New York would end the season-long saga that began last summer when Anthony refused to sign the contract extension with the Nuggets.

Late in the preseason, reports of a potential four-team deal with New Jersey, Utah and Charlotte that would make Anthony a Net surfaced.

But league sources say the deal was overblown and New Jersey was actually leaking the story in an effort to pressure Denver's new front office regime of Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri into making a deal.

Last month, reports of another potential trade of Anthony to New Jersey surfaced, this time involving the Detroit Pistons. That deal was close to being agreed upon, but Anthony was reluctant to sign the three-year, $65 million extension with New Jersey.

Anthony agreed to meet with the Nets but owner Mikhail Prokhorov called off his club's pursuit of Anthony in a news conference a day before the scheduled sit-down was to take place.

There have been no talks between New Jersey and Denver since Prokhorov pulled out of the deal, but the Nets are monitoring the Nuggets' discussions with other teams. The possibility of New Jersey reigniting talks with the Nuggets remains until the Nets trade away Troy Murphy, whose expiring contract is critical to any deal between the two clubs.

Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.

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