NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Knicks vs. Nets Tri-State rivalry is about to go coastal.
According to the Daily News, both Knicks owner James Dolan and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov are set to meet with Carmelo Anthony during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.
“Anthony’s representatives are responsible for setting up individual meetings with the owners of the metropolitan area’s two basketball clubs,” reported the Daily News. “The clandestine meetings with Anthony will likely take place either Friday or Saturday.”
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Thursday night that the Nets are very much back in the hunt, and are in “advanced talks on the framework” of a mega-deal that would land Anthony in New Jersey.
According to the report, the Nets would send Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Ben Uzoh, Troy Murphy and a staggering four first-round draft picks to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Melvin Ely.
However, Prokhorov spokeswoman Ellen Pinchuk paints a different picture.
Pinchuk said in an e-mail that the billionaire maintains his stance, despite the reports.
“Mikhail has not changed his mind,” Pinchuk wrote.
When asked if that meant Prokhorov does not want the Nets to reopen talks with Denver at this point, the spokeswoman said:
“What I said is what I said,” she insisted. “Not what you said.”
Prokhorov stunned NBA followers last month during a visit to New Jersey when he told the team to end trade talks for Anthony just a day before he was to have a sitdown with the player. At the time Prokhorov said the much ballyhooed, 15-player, three-team deal that also involved the Detroit Pistons had become too become too expensive. The negotiations had also become too public and the constant rumors were hurting his team.
Prokhorov also said at the time there was no chance the talks would be resurrected.
A league official with knowledge of the Nets told The Associated Press on Thursday that Denver recently contacted New Jersey to see if there would be any interest in acquiring Anthony, who can become a free agent at the end of the season. The official asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak for the Nets.
The Nets and Knicks have been mentioned as the most likely future home for Anthony, should he be traded. And Anthony has been quoted several times that he would love to play for the Knicks.
But the Nets might have more to offer the Nuggets. Rookie power forward Derrick Favors, the No. 3 pick in the draft, has tremendous upside as a 19-year-old. His first season has not been overly impressive because of foul problems and a general learning curve. New Jersey also has five first-round draft picks over the next two years to offer.
Of course, any trade to New Jersey would be contingent on Anthony signing a $65 million contract extension that’s been on the table since June.
Anthony also would have to know that coming to New Jersey probably would end his playoff hopes. The Nets have a 17-40 mark entering the break and are 8 1/2 games out of a playoff berth with 25 left.
The Nuggets (32-25), meanwhile, have the seventh best record in the West.
Which owner has the upper hand? Sound off below…
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