The proposed four-team trade that would have sent All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New Jersey Nets is off, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
As of early Tuesday, the Nets were still searching around the NBA trying to find trade partners but by mid-afternoon they had moved on from the pursuit of Anthony.
The Nets were trying to operate business as usual amid all the drama, which was created largely through a Denver management team that league execs insist has too many people giving input and too much indecision in dealing with their franchise player.
And first-year coach Avery Johnson, as any coach must, pushed forward under the assumption that the players he has now are the ones he will have later.
“Nothing is dragging on in my mind. There is nothing dragging on,” Johnson said Tuesday.
“Opening night, Devin Harris will be our starting point guard, Brook Lopez will be our starting center. The rest of it, we’re trying to figure it out. I’ll make a decision on whether I want to start Favors or bring him off the bench. So right now that’s kind of what we’re thinking," he added.
“We’re just going forward with this team. This is what we got. If Billy (GM King) calls me and tells me something, I’ll have to make whatever adjustments I have to make.”
The proposed trade, which included the Bobcats and Jazz, would have cost the Nets rookie forward Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris, and first-round draft picks.
With the trade coming apart, there is the obvious notion that Johnson and Harris — who was to be bound for Charlotte — will have some fence mending to do.
“We don’t have to mend anything. It’s a part of the game. Shaquille O’Neal had to change teams. Charles Barkley had to change teams. Stuff happens in the league; it’s nothing personal,” Johnson said.
Harris said he understands the Nets’ rationale for pursuing Anthony and was never angry at Johnson.
“I don’t know where that came from. It didn’t come from my people,” he said. “You go through a season like last year and their job is to put the best team on the floor.”