DENVER (AP) – Carmelo Anthony said he loves being with the Denver Nuggets and is happy to go through the season with free agency a real possibility next summer.
The Nuggets forward, who has been the subject of trade talk for months, said after the second day of training camp Wednesday he is content to suit up again for Denver on opening night.
“I’d love to,” he said. “If they come to me and say they want to trade me to a team we’ll discuss it at that time. Right now they haven’t come to me and said that. Until that time comes I’m here playing basketball. My options will be open.”
With the potential trade that would have sent Anthony to the New Jersey Nets having fallen through, Anthony is focusing on his current team. He said he came into camp 5 pounds lighter than last year, and he’s feeling stronger and leaner.
Meanwhile, trade talks have been going on, but he said the Nuggets’ front office never discussed a deal with the Nets.
“No, not at all,” he said. “What they’re doing in the front office is letting me go through training camp and not worry about that type of stuff.”
Anthony has yet to sign off on a three-year, $65 million extension that’s been on the table since June, leading the Nuggets to explore trade options. The potential trade involving Denver, New Jersey, Charlotte and Utah hit a road block over the weekend and then fell apart.
Anthony’s offseason marriage to actress LaLa Vazquez has fueled speculation that he would want to play in a bigger market, but he said his wife is supportive of his career wherever he plays.
“My wife is rolling with me,” he said. “She’s leaving the decision up to me. I’m the one out here shooting jump shots, running up and down the court. She understands what’s going on. Of course there’s pressure for her because she don’t really know what’s going on right now, a lot of speculation and rumors.
“She’s the star, she’s in Hollywood, she’s acting, she’s got her own show, that’s what she does. She’s been doing that before she even met me. She’s with me.”
He added living in Denver doesn’t hurt his marketability.
“The endorsement deals are going to come,” he said. “My endorsement deals aren’t going to change, wherever I live at.”
Nuggets coach George Karl said the decisions by LeBron James and Chris Bosch to sign as free agents with Miami and join Dwyane Wade could be playing a part in Anthony’s thought process.
“I think everybody has a little bit of an opinion of what happened in Miami, some good, some bad,” he said. “I think it definitely had a little bit of an impact. It had a little bit of an impact on how people think.”
For now Anthony is getting ready for his eighth season with the Nuggets and letting the front office deal with trade talk. If nothing happens, he’s ready to play out his contract and hit the free-agent market.
“I’m going to work hard regardless, whether there’s a deal on the table or the deal’s not on the table,” he said. “I’m here, man. This ain’t offseason. The season has started. I’m not a free agent yet. If it comes down to it at the end of the season and I haven’t signed the extension, then we’ll sit down.”
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