As talks on a four-way deal that included Utah and Charlotte lost
momentum on Monday, Denver and New Jersey were constructing contingency
plans with several other teams to try to keep alive hopes of a trade
that would send Carmelo Anthony(notes) to the Nets, league sources told
New Jersey and Denver were moving from including Utah’s Andrei
Kirilenko(notes) and Charlotte’s Boris Diaw(notes) in the trade
packages, front-office sources said, and trying to find trade partners
in both the Eastern and Western conferences. Denver and New Jersey were
trying to line up new scenarios that still would result with Anthony in
New Jersey and Derrick Favors(notes) and Nets draft picks in Denver,
The four-team trade fell apart when Denver kept trying to include more of its players in deals to spare themselves a bigger luxury-tax bill that would’ve come with the arrivals of Kirilenko and Favors, sources said. The proposed trade would have added $4.5 million in salary to their payroll plus another $4.5 million in luxury tax.
Sources say that the Nuggets have strong interest in trying to do a deal with Philadelphia that included swingman Andre Iguodala, but the Sixers’ inability to get a commitment out of Anthony that he would sign a contract extension with them made the point moot.
One of the biggest obstacles with cutting a deal with the Nuggets, league executives said, continues to be the peculiar and unclear power structure of the Denver front office. What had been the case under the previous regime has carried over with new vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, the owner’s son, Josh Kroenke, and adviser Bret Bearup: No one talking to the Nuggets is sure who’s in charge, who’s making the decision and who can get everyone in agreement.
Anthony arrived at Denver’s training camp for media day on Monday, but didn’t engage in much of the normal promotional shots for the team’s Altitude television network and game-night operations, a league source said.
The Nuggets star had hoped a deal would’ve been in place before he reported for the start of camp, a league source said, but decided against openly criticizing the organization in his media remarks. Instead, he was noncommittal about his future in Denver. He can become a free agent at the end of the season and so far has rejected a three-year, $65 million contract extension.