NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony wants his money, even if he’s not saying where he wants it.
Anthony made clear Sunday the importance of a contract extension, which he’s thus far refused to sign with the Denver Nuggets. He also said he doesn’t think the Nuggets would trade him somewhere he wouldn’t accept one.
After the Nuggets’ 129-125 loss to the Knicks, the team Anthony reportedly wants to play for, he was asked the importance of getting an extension before the collective bargaining agreement expires next summer. The NBA wants major salary cuts in the next deal.
“Whatever decision that I make, that’s going to be the first thing that gets done,” Anthony said.
ESPN.com reported later Sunday that Anthony would only accept a long-term extension if it came with a trade to the Knicks.
The Nuggets offered him one worth about $65 million over three years during the summer, but he has said he wanted to keep his options open. He can become a free agent next summer, but Denver would likely attempt to trade him before rather than risk losing him for nothing.
Denver was close to a four-team deal in the preseason that would have sent Anthony to New Jersey, but it fell apart.
Anthony can squash many trades by informing teams he would not take an extension with them. Many clubs would refuse to give up the pieces necessary to acquire the All-Star without a guarantee he would be part of their future.
But Anthony doesn’t believe Denver would try to send him somewhere he didn’t want to go.
“I don’t think that will happen,” he said.
There have been reports since the summer that Anthony’s preference was to play in New York, where he was born, lived his first eight years and was married this summer. But he said after the Nuggets’ practice Saturday that he hadn’t made up his mind.
Anthony scored 31 points Sunday after receiving a loud ovation during pregame introductions.