Despite many Nuggets fans' hopes that the team's early success this season--as well as George Karl's moving return to the bench--would persuade Carmelo Anthony to sign a contract extension, the team has come to grips with the fact that it will have to trade Anthony if he hasn't signed by the February trading deadline.
That's according to a new report from CBS's Ken Berger, who says the Nuggets believe Anthony will become a free agent after this season despite a new collective bargaining agreement that figures to limit the amount of money the all-star forward can make next year.
Berger cites sources who have been in contact with Nuggets management in reporting that Melo's most likely destination is the New Jersey Nets, who could offer Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, the expiring contract of Kris Humphries and two first-round picks in return.
The Nuggets have had a three-year, $65 million offer on the table since early this summer, but Anthony has refused to sign. Before training camp opened, the Nuggets were expected to pull the trigger on a deal that would have sent their marquee player to New Jersey in a trade that also involved the Charlotte Bobcats. Nuggets management reportedly backed off the deal at the last second.
In a televised interview Wednesday night, Anthony reiterated that he was keeping his options open. He also said he has near-daily conversations with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, and the two are "on the same page."