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Aldridge: Melo to Knicks report has 'no legs'

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Oct 20 2010 5:39PM - Updated Oct 20 2010 7:38PM

A league source with knowledge of the New York Knicks' thinking said on Wednesday that there were "no legs" to an ESPN.com report that the Knicks have made "significant" progress on a trade that would bring Carmelo Anthony to New York from the Denver Nuggets.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday night that the Knicks had softened their stance on including either forward Danilo Gallinari or forward Anthony Randolph in proposed deals for Anthony. Although the Nuggets supposedly didn't want either player, the Knicks, according to the report, were hoping to spin either Randolph or Gallinari into an asset from another team that the Nuggets would want, and then package that asset with a draft pick, the expiring contract of center Eddy Curry and other assets for Anthony.

But the league source said there were "no legs to that" on the Knicks' end.

Other league sources that have been involved in trade discussions with the Nuggets about Anthony in recent weeks maintained that the New Jersey Nets are still in direct talks with Denver about Anthony, though a proposed four-way trade that would have brought Anthony to the Nets last month involving New Jersey, Denver, Utah and Charlotte fell through.

One source said that though that deal died, the Nets have "never been out of the mix" in discussions about Anthony, and that Denver was still trying to figure out a way to get either forward Andrei Kirienko from Utah, Charlotte's Gerald Wallace or the 76ers' Andre Iguodala in a package for Anthony. Kirilenko was part of the original four-team deal, and would have gone to Denver.

The source indicated that the talks between the teams have become less public in the last couple of weeks to allow new Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri time to get his team's front office in order after the team did not renew the contracts of former GM Mark Warkentein and assistant GM Rex Chapman in August, and to take pressure off of the Nets players, like rookie forward Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris, who had been mentioned in potential deals.

Another source that has been involved in the trade talks said Wednesday that he still believes the Nets will ultimately wind up with Anthony, who has privately asked to be traded while publicly remaining non-commital about his future. Anthony has refused to sign the three-year, $65 million extension off that the Nuggets have had on the table for months.

The Nuggets hired Pete D'Alessandro, the former assistant GM with the Warriors, as an advisor last week. D'Alessandro, an expert on the salary cap, is expected to help Denver figure out the most cap-friendly way to move Anthony. D'Alessandro was fired by the Warriors in 2008, as part of an internal struggle in Golden State.

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