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Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks

Carmelo's Denver departure seems inevitable

Since LeBron James teamed up with Dwayne Wade this offseason, there have been multiple rumblings about other star NBA players looking to run together. One of those players is Carmelo Anthony, who has made it abundantly clear that he’d prefer to leave Denver, rather than stick around. According to Anthony and his insiders, his preference is to take his game to New York and play with Amare Stoudamire and the Knicks.

Denver just recently filled their vacant GM position and have been informed that Anthony doesn’t plan to accept the three-year, $65 million extension they’ve offered. That development means that Denver will most likely entertain trade offers for their star player. Because of Anthony’s New York preference, it makes sense that the Nuggets and Knicks discuss trade possibilities. The problem with that pairing though is that despite the roster rebuilding the Knicks have done in the past 18 months, they don’t really have enough pieces to put together an attractive offer for Denver.

The Nets and Clippers have both been mentioned as potential landing spots for Anthony and both teams certainly have the talent to offer Denver. Additionally, they provide Anthony with large media markets for him to expand his image and visibility. The Warriors also have the talent to move in exchange for Anthony.

But no team is going to going to give up a ton of talent to acquire Anthony unless he signs an extension with the team, and that’s where Anthony gains valuable leverage. Is he desperate enough to get out of Denver that he’ll agree to an extension with some team other than New York? Or is he so set on playing in New York that he declines big-money extensions, plays out the season in Denver and signs with New York after the 2010-11 season?

If he truly is committed to playing in New York, Denver may end up having to take less talent from New York in a deal for Anthony to avoid losing him for nothing.