On Wednesday, after months of trade rumors, and occasional booing from fans, Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony raised eyebrows when he told the Denver Post that he'd "take a real hard look" at signing a contract extension with the Nuggets in the event he's not traded before the February 24 deadline.
His comments were greeted with skepticism by many, who think that the comments may be a way of prodding the New York Knicks to put a trade together before the deadline.
The Knicks have made no secret of their interest in Anthony, who has been the subject of constant trade rumors since he initially declined to sign a 3-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nuggets before the season. Since that time, the prevailing wisdom has been that Nuggets' management would sooner trade Anthony this year than see him walk away from the team as a free agent this offseason. New York has been involved in these trade rumors from the beginning, but has not been able to put together a package of players and draft picks suitable to Denver.
Lately, reports have indicated that the Knicks don't feel tremendous pressure to make a trade because they believe Anthony would even be amenable to leaving millions of dollars on the table by signing a new contract with the Knicks after the season. That new contract would likely be significantly smaller than the extension Anthony could sign in with the Nuggets.
ESPN's Chris Broussard (in a segment viewable below) calls Anthony's latest statement "a clear message to to the Knicks: come get me now, or... you might not get me at all."
Even so, he says there's a "slim chance" that Anthony, who may be conflicted about leaving so much money on the table, still has interest in playing in Denver.