SAN ANTONIO — Carmelo Anthony didn’t exactly dispute reports that the New Jersey Nets were given permission by the Denver Nuggets to negotiate with him, he just doesn’t believe that’s the case. David Aldridge first reported the latest twist in the ‘Melo Sweepstakes on NBA.com.
“I haven’t talk to anybody, [general manager Masai Ujiri] or [owner Josh Kroenke] or any other teams,” Anthony said Sunday night after a lackluster performance by him and Denver in a loss to the Spurs. “So for that speculation to be thrown around out there, that’s false.”
‘Melo added that he has no desire to talk to another team, noting the Nuggets still dish out his paychecks. He claimed not to know anything about a proposed meeting with the Nets, which reportedly would include a personal pitch from New Jersey billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
“I don’t want to talk to nobody,” Anthony said. “I’ll let the front office handle that type of stuff. That ain’t my job to be talking to New Jersey, Lakers, Dallas, no one. That’s not my job to do.”
And if given permission?
“I still won’t step into something like that,” ‘Melo said. “I have seen a lot of people go through that. For me to sit here and say I want to talk to them or Masai and Josh gave them permission to talk to me, I think that’s false. If that was the case then I’m pretty sure I would have got a phone call.”
Should that phone call come, Denver’s 26-year-old franchise player said he still wants no part in being personally involved in any trade talks. As has been the case lately, ‘Melo virtually guaranteed being in a Nuggets uniform for the foreseeable future — Wednesday against Oklahoma City, Friday against the Lakers and Sunday against Indiana.
So what about the option of staying in Denver fore the entire season before weighing his options? Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote that ‘Melo hasn’t taken the ongoing CBA talks into consideration.
When asked about the possibility of Anthony waiting until after the season to address his future, the person familiar with his strategy told CBSSports.com that he has not factored in the prospect of a hard cap and salary rollbacks in a new CBA. Such an outcome in the labor talks would make Anthony’s three-year, $65 million extension — thought to be a driving force behind any trade that would compel him to sign it before the Feb. 24 deadline — a moot point.
Nuggets coach George Karl said he hasn’t been given an update on Anthony by Ujiri.
“I have not talked to him since Friday and I’m sure if there was anything that would have drastically changed, he would have called me,” Karl said.
As for the team, Karl did evoke a slogan that’s been tied to ‘Melo since trade speculation exploded last summer.
“We just got to keep our focus and keep fighting through our drama,” he said.
It doesn’t figure to end anytime soon. ‘Melo was asked if dealing with this at every stop is a drag.
“It is. I get tired of answering the questions. I live with it,” he said. “I wake up in the morning, keep my head high, be professional and answer the questions as y’all ask them.”