UPDATE: "I'm here man, I'm here today. Practice starts tomorrow and we'll go from there," Carmelo Anthony told the media on the first day of Nuggets training camp.
Dressed in his familiar Nuggets uniform, Melo described his conversation with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri--the first face-to-face meeting the two have had since Ujiri took over as GM--as "a good... actually a great conversation."
"He has told me how he feels, and I told him how I feel," Ujiri said of the meeting.
Melo insisted he's never said he wanted to be traded, and says he's "keeping [his] options open." He declined to address specifics of talks between his representatives and the Nuggets front office.
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Even after weeks of trade rumors, and "unpleasant" meetings, the Denver Nuggets open camp this week with Carmelo Anthony still on their roster. The team is reportedly even hoping to convince its star forward that staying in Denver wouldn't be the worse thing after all.
Anthony, whose contract expires at the end of the year, has refused to sign a 3-year, $65 million contract extension. Reports all summer have indicated that he hopes to force the Nuggets--who would lose him for nothing if he leaves as a free agent next year--to trade him, preferably to either Chicago or New York.
Last week, reports predicted that the Nuggets would likely have a deal done by the end of the weekend in order to avoid the awkward situation of having a disgruntled superstar in camp.
However, the team put the brakes on negotiations over the weekend in order to fully evaluate its options.
Melo, who has publicly been mum on the issue, is expected directly address the media for the first time on Monday.
(Check Back For Updates)
Check out list of possible trade partners below:
Reports on Friday indicated that the Nuggets were close to a 4-team deal involving the Utah Jazz, New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats. The deal would have sent Anthony to New Jersey in exchange for first-round-pick Derrick Favors (pictured above) and Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko. The deal cooled over the weekend thanks in part to the indecisiveness of the Nuggets front office, and New Jersey's trepidation over whether Anthony--who has been hearing less-than-glowing reports from former Nets about quality of life in New Jersey--would be willing to sign a long-term deal to play in New Jersey. The deal remains in a holding pattern, but reports suggest it's still in play.
The Denver Post reported late Sunday that the Nuggets are very interested in the Warriors' second-year sharpshooter Stephen Curry (pictured above).
Anthony, a Brooklyn native, has long-said that he would love to play for his hometown team. Rumors about the Knicks assembling a superteam to rival Miami have been pervasive since Chris Paul's infamous toast at Melo's New York wedding. The Knicks are thought to be very interested in acquiring Anthony, but have little to offer the Nuggets in a trade. However, as fanhouse.com puts it, there still may be some hope for the Knicks, as "[E]very lost opportunity for the Nuggets is a win for the Knicks." Fanhouse reports that the Knicks would likely have to give up Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas and Wilson Chandler.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported over the weekend that the Nuggets have been discussing a trade for forward Andre Iguodala (pictured above). Again stifling progress in these negotiations is uncertainty over whether Anthony is willing to sign a long-term deal to play in Philadelphia.
Anthony has stated that he would like to play in Chicago, but the Bulls, who already have a solid roster, are unwilling to include Joakim Noah--whom the Nuggets covet--as a part of a deal. Even at the height of the "Carmelo to New Jersey" hysteria last week, ESPN reported that a Chicago deal would "theoretically trump any New Jersey offer if they [the Bulls] were willing to include center Joakim Noah as part of a deal." The Bulls have given no indication that they are willing to budge on the Noah offer.
Fanhouse reported last week that the Nuggets are likely interested in acquiring Argentine forward Luis Scola.