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Report: Knicks Improve Offer, ‘Close In’ On Carmelo

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Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks and the Eastern Conference stands with Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets and the Western Conference after the Western Conference won 148-143 victory in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Amar’e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks and the Eastern Conference stands with Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets and the Western Conference after the Western Conference won 148-143 victory in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Knicks may be one step closer to acquiring Carmelo Anthony.

According to the Denver Post, the Knicks are “closing in” on a deal that would send the Denver Nuggets’ superstar to New York.

“The teams talked through the weekend and are working out the final details of what would be a blockbuster trade,” the Post reported Monday. “NBA commissioner David Stern did not want a major trade announced on the day of the All-Star Game.”

Citing anonymous NBA sources, the paper has New York sending Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and a first-round draft pick to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams and either Anthony Carter or Renaldo Balkman.

Meanwhile, the NY Post is reporting that New York’s final offer is “on the table … for Denver to accept or not by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.”

Also according to the NY Post, Anthony is “expected to inform the Nets by today at the latest” whether he will accept a trade and sign an extension to play with New Jersey.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh has been patient in his approach with Anthony, who can become a free agent after the season. The Knicks could just sign him then without having to give up any of their young core in a trade with the Nuggets, but Anthony would prefer a deal during the season so he’d be eligible for the three-year, $65 million extension he’s refused to sign with Denver.

“An extension will come into play, regardless of the situation,” Anthony said. “I haven’t talked to anybody today from the Denver Nuggets organization, so as of right now, I’m still a Nugget.”

The Melo-Drama reached perhaps its most bizarre point Sunday. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov essentially said the Nets drove up the Knicks’ price.

“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force (the) Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov said. “So it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.”

Equally strange, the Knicks hierarchy insisted they were unified in their pursuit of the All-Star forward amid reports Isiah Thomas was pulling the strings.

“We want to make it abundantly clear that we have been in constant communication throughout this process and the three of us are in complete agreement with everything that we are currently working on. Together, we will do what is best for the long-term success of the franchise,” said the statement, which was attributed to James Dolan, Walsh and Mike D’Antoni.

“In addition, we want to make it clear that no one from outside our organization has been involved in this process in any way,” the statement read.

LISTEN: Boomer & Carton – Carmelo still a Nugget?!

The New York Daily News reported Dolan met Thursday with Anthony in Los Angeles, and Yahoo! Sports reported the Knicks had increased their offer to the Nuggets to include three starters, triggering speculation the owner was overruling his basketball people because he wanted a trade done before Thursday’s deadline.

However, there are still those pesky Nets.

The Nets still believe Anthony would agree to sign a contract extension with them that would be a prerequisite to making the deal, despite previous reports that he would only do so if traded to the Knicks.

“I was just listening,” Anthony said of his meeting Saturday with the Nets. “I didn’t give anybody a definitive answer. It was a good meeting to have. I’m not going to talk about the selling points and all that stuff. It was interesting. It’s hard for me to sit here and talk about what the Nets can do, because I’m not in a Nets uniform.”

Prokhorov told CNBC on Sunday he had a “fantastic” meeting with Anthony on Saturday night. The Russian billionaire had pulled the Nets out of talks last month, and even after they were recently renewed he said he originally had no plans to meet with Anthony during the All-Star weekend.

“As you know, my instinct was to stay away and I still think that is (the) right decision,” Prokhorov said. “But when the meeting was fixed, (Nets general manager) Billy King called me and said, ‘We need you.’ I was convinced and I still think I’m right to stay away, but we have teamwork so sometimes we need to be all together.”

Asked at Staples Center before the All-Star game if he had any news on a deal, Prokhorov said: “I don’t care.”

While the Tri-State area obsessed over “MeloWatch” this weekend, Amar’e Stoudemire endorsed another chip in the potential trade.

“Chauncey (Billups is) obviously a solid player,” Stoudemire said. “They call him ‘Big Shot’ for a reason.”

Billups would become the Knicks’ new point guard if Raymond Felton is dealt in the Melo deal.

“I want what’s best for the franchise,” he added. “I do want a championship. We have to go about it the smart way.”

Will we finally see an end to the Knicks-Carmelo saga this week? Let us know what you think below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

pixy Report: Knicks Improve Offer, Close In On Carmelo
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