Chauncey and Rip to be Reunited in Jersey if Carmelo to Nets deal goes down

9 Jan

Is a reunion coming?

The New Jersey Nets’ attempts to acquire Denver’s Carmelo Anthony are “further along” than any trade scenario that has been discussed since their near-acquisition of Anthony in late September, according to sources close to the negotiations.

A three-team deal involving the Detroit Pistons that would include at least 15 players — with Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups winding up in New Jersey with Anthony — could be completed as soon as this week, sources said.

The primary elements of the scenario currently on the table, sources said, call for New Jersey to acquire Anthony, Billups and Hamilton; Denver to land Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks; and Detroit to acquire Troy Murphy and Johan Petro.

Other players with smaller contracts would have to be included to make the salary-cap math work.

One key to the advancing nature of negotiations, sources said, is the Nets’ and Nuggets’ willingness to complete a trade without asking Detroit to surrender a first-round pick.

When the talks involving Detroit as a potential third-team facilitator were first reported Friday night by the Bergen Record of New Jersey, sources told ESPN.com that the Pistons were balking largely because they were being asked to surrender a first-rounder.

Yet sources said one of the remaining potential snags is New Jersey’s insistence that the Pistons absorb the contract of Petro.

The Pistons do not want to take back Petro, even though shedding Hamilton’s contract in exchange for Murphy and the Nets’ center would represent an overall savings of roughly $17 million.

Sources say Detroit’s stance on Petro has prompted New Jersey to begin looking for a fourth team that might be willing to take on the 24-year-old big man.

The Nets turned to Detroit to help seal their months-long pursuit of Anthony after attempts to rope in Cleveland, Minnesota and Portland as a third-team facilitator failed to progress.

Any trade for Anthony, however, still hinges on the All-Star forward’s willingness to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets as part of the transaction in what is known as an extend-and-trade. The Boston Celtics got the same extend-and-trade commitment from Kevin Garnett when they acquired him from Minnesota in July 2007.

The Nets have made it clear that they will not agree to an Anthony deal without getting his signature on an extension a la Garnett. ESPN.com reported last month that the Nets plan to request permission — and have already been told they will receive it — to meet with Anthony face-to-face if a trade agreement is eventually struck with Denver. That would allow owner Mikhail Prokhorov and part-owner Jay-Z to lead a Nets contingent that would try to lobby the Brooklyn-born Anthony directly on the team’s future, with the Nets planning to move to Brooklyn in time for the 2012-13 season.

The Nets long ago committed to send prized rookie Favors, former All-Star Harris and at least two first-round picks to the Nuggets in exchange for Anthony.

But New Jersey has been attempting to find a third team to help facilitate the blockbuster deal for Anthony that they’ve been chasing since the September collapse of a four-team swap involving Charlotte and Utah.

One source close to the situation insisted Sunday that the Nets — optimistic as this sounds — believe a face-to-face meeting with Prokhorov won’t even be necessary to get Anthony’s signoff if New Jersey can indeed acquire Billups and Hamilton. It was not immediately clear, though, how Denver native Billups’ reported desire to seek a buyout if he’s traded by his hometown team to the Nets would affect Anthony’s stance.

What did seem clear Sunday is that the talks have taken on their most serious tone since the negotiations in February that would have landed Harris in Charlotte and Jazz veteran Andrei Kirilenko in Denver.

The New York Knicks remain Anthony’s strongly preferred destination, sources say, but Denver has shown little interest in the Knicks’ assets (such as Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari) and have been negotiating almost exclusively with the Nets for weeks.
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One Response to “Chauncey and Rip to be Reunited in Jersey if Carmelo to Nets deal goes down”

  1. Chris Ross January 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

    Man there’s a lot going on in sports these days. The Carmelo Anthony trade rumours are really interesting and just thinking about how it changes the scope of the NBA is something that is cool just to imagine. I’m not sure it makes the Nets into instant contenders but I guess anything’s possible. It’s weird how we’re seeing the trend change to go for broke and win now. Not very many team’s want to build from within their organization anymore and I’m not sure hoping to sign a couple stars by clearing up cap space is the best method out there. As a Raptors fan I probably don’t want this trade to happen primarily because it shifts more power to the East, which is the last thing the Raps need in the next few years. But as an NBA fan it would be really fun to see. Anyways, you also think you could take a look at my blog cuz I really wanna know what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/whatever-happened-to-good-ol-rebuilding/

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