Report: Carmelo meeting with two teams
The long-awaited, once-canceled, meeting between Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony to determine his willingness to play in New Jersey looked set to take place this weekend during the All-Star weekend, league sources confirmed Friday.
But the negotiations faced direct opposition from the Knicks, with Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan also scheduled for an LA-based discussion with the small forward, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
Anthony's representatives were responsible for setting up the separate team meetings, which were likely to take place Friday or Saturday, the paper added.
Russian billionaire Prokhorov, who is expected to be joined by Nets adviser and minority share owner Jay-Z, will foremost look for assurances from Anthony that he will sign the three-year, $65-million extension Denver has had on the table since June.
If Anthony picks New Jersey, the Nets and Nuggets would proceed on finalizing a nine-player plus draft picks blockbuster trade, thrashed out more than a week ago, that would reshape both rosters.
The Nets would send rookie Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris, forward Troy Murphy -- with his expiring $11.9 million contract -- and rookie guard Ben Uzoh plus four first-round draft picks to the Nuggets for Anthony, point guard Chauncey Billups, forwards Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams, and center Melvin Ely.
The Nets would surrender their own first-round pick for June's NBA Draft along with a pair of 2012 picks, a protected-to-18 pick received from the Lakers and a protected-to-seven pick from the Warriors, and a 2011 lottery-protected Rockets pick.
There were indications of a possible third team being recruited to help broker the deal. But it was not believed to be Detroit, which was recruited in January's proposed three-team deal that stretched to 17 players at one point.
At the weekend meeting, Prokhorov and Jay-Z will pitch the Russian's global vision that includes an emphasis on the team's move to Brooklyn in 2012.
Although the exact day and time for the meeting was not defined, one source insisted it would take place "sooner rather than later." Prokhorov has rented a private suite at the Staples Center for All-Star weekend.
The last planned meeting resulted in one of the all-time great press conference. Prokhorov flew from Russia on Jan. 19, put an end to trade talks and also canceled a planned meeting the following day with the small forward the Nets have chased since September. It turns out canceled meant postponed.
The Nets have proceeded for months under the conviction Anthony would agree to sign with them. If he opts for free agency, he would risk a smaller payday under the new collective bargaining agreement and would lose $18 million guaranteed next season.
Anthony's preference has been to be dealt to the Knicks, but their offer reportedly underwhelmed Denver and the Nuggets' counter-proposal was said to stun Knicks executives.