NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has told the team to end discussions on the Carmelo Anthony deal.
In a news conference before Wednesday night's game against Utah, Prokhorov said he decided on Tuesday to stop pursuit of the Nuggets all-star forward, unhappy with how things played out in public.
The new owner says the deal took too long and became too expensive.
Prokhorov also says he has called off a scheduled meeting with Anthony.
Previously, New Jersey had offered to ship six players and at least two first-round draft picks to Denver in a deal that would have sent Anthony to the Nets along with former Pistons teammates Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.
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Just when you thought you had the Carmelo Anthony trade situation figured out, another curveball is reported.
Just days after reports suggested that negotiations with New Jersey had advanced so far that Melo was likely playing in his last game as a Nugget, a new team has reportedly entered the fold.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday that Anthony's representation is courting the Chicago Bulls to become contenders in the Melo sweepstakes:
William Wesley - Worldwide Wes - is expected to travel to Chicago for Bulls games on Thursday and Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, a source said. Wesley unsuccessfully pushed LeBron James(notes) to sign with the Bulls as a free agent, and now has an interest in Anthony ending up there. Wesley represents Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for CAA.
Despite that Leon Rose is certified as the agent of record for Anthony, everyone in the NBA knows Wesley is responsible for delivering the Nuggets star to CAA and is hands-on when trying to push teams into deals for the agency's clients.
Last summer, Yahoo's Marc Spears reported that the Bulls and New York Knicks were at the top of Anthony's wish list for trade destinations.
Chicago, however, was unwilling to trade center Joakim Noah, whom the Nuggets coveted most. As Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday, Denver was also unwilling to take on the contract of forward Luol Deng, who the Bulls were dangling on trade proposals.
The Bulls have not been considered major players for Anthony since that time.
Wojnarowski's report coincides with an AP story suggesting that the primary holdup in negotiations between the Nuggets and Nets is the teams' inability to agree to the terms of a trade, not--as was reported over the weekend--Anthony's unwillingness to sign with the Nets.
Anthony's representation and the Nuggets front office are under pressure to complete a deal before February's trading deadline. If Anthony becomes a free agent at the end of the season, he stands to lose out on millions of dollars thanks to an anticipated new collective bargaining agreement. The Nuggets stand to lose their best player and receive nothing in return.
Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports that the constant buzz over potential trades is wearing on the team.