It?s hard to believe there are other happenings amidst the NBA free-agent frenzy besides the constant radar on LeBron James, but rest assured, there are other newsworthy events that are popping up.
Take Carmelo Anthony for example … remember him? Years ago, his name was synonymous with that of James, as the media questioned if they were the next Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rivalry. Time has proven that this is not the case, as LeBron has made a name for himself on a different level than Anthony celebrity-wise, but the Denver Nuggets? forward posts comparable statistics to the King in his seven-season career in the NBA.
Anthony has stirred up a little offseason excitement of his own this summer. Though he?s not up for free agency until July 2011, Nuggets officials are doing all they can in the present to keep the face of their franchise in Denver until 2014.
The front office is currently offering a three-year, $65 million contract extension for Anthony, and according to The Denver Post, Melo is serious about signing. When asked if he was going to accept the extension, Anthony stated last month that he would "go to the table and see what?s the best situation for me."
The Nuggets? extension is a very lucrative offer, one that stands until July 1, 2011, and then those millions will be taken off the table and a new contract would be reworked. Easy choice, right?
Not so much. There is an obstacle that stands in the way of Anthony remaining in Denver, and it is the rumbling rumors of him signing with the New York Knicks next season.
While the Knicks' trade offer for Anthony earlier in the week was quickly turned down by the Nuggets, other offers have been discussed for his free agency next summer, ESPN.com reported on Monday. Anthony?s close friend Amare Stoudemire – who signed with the Knicks on Monday — has stated that Melo wants to play with him in New York, and sources have said that Anthony has privately expressed interest to play in the Big Apple.
The Knicks have salary cap room to offer Anthony a maximum contract come next July, but the Nuggets are confident that the All-Star will stay in Denver. It?s definitely a gamble on Anthony?s part; if he takes up Denver on its offer, he'lllose the opportunity to play with Stoudemire (and possibly James) in New York. On the other hand, should he pursue the Knicks? opportunity, he could lose out on millions.
Luckily for him, he still has some time to mull it over.