09/20/2010 11:54 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Trade Talks Pick Up As Nuggets Start To Hear Offers: ESPN

UPDATE: ESPN is reporting that the New Jersey Nets have emerged as the front-runner for Carmelo Anthony. A potential deal with the Nets would likey get the Nuggets Derrick Favors, as well as expiring contracts and draft picks.


The Denver Nuggets have started listening to pitches from NBA teams interested in trading for Carmelo Anthony, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford.

From ESPN:

The Nuggets, during [new general manager Masai] Ujiri's first two weeks in the office, consistently told teams calling to register trade interest in Anthony that they weren't ready to discuss the subject.

But the Nuggets, sources said, have relaxed that stance and are starting to explore how much they might be able to get in return for the high-scoring small forward. To agree to a deal, Denver would expect at least one top-flight young player it can market along with salary-cap relief and multiple future first-round picks.

Earlier this year, the Nuggets offered Anthony, whose contract expires at the end of next season, a 3-year, $65 million contract extension. Anthony, a three-time all star, has thus-far declined to sign the deal, which would pay him more money than he's likely to receive if he signs a new contract next year when a new collective bargaining agreement takes effect.

Anthony's hesitancy has lead to reports that he has already made up his mind to leave Denver, and is currently trying to force the Nuggets to trade him before the end of next season.

Anthony has refused to discuss the matter at length publicly, but insists he remains a Nugget and has no immediate plans to leave.

The Nuggets are believed to be concerned that Anthony will sign with a different team next year, leaving the team with nothing in return for the loss.