NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – The Nets are closing in on a deal to bring Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey.
Talks on a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons are “advancing,” a person with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The trade would reunite Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton in New Jersey along with Anthony, the person said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the talks.
Although there has been progress, the person said there are potential roadblocks.
The deal would fall apart if Anthony refused to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nets. Billups also has said he would be reluctant to leave Denver.
Anthony refused to discuss a potential deal before the Nuggets played New Orleans in Denver on Sunday night. He said afterward he didn’t think a 96-87 loss was his last game in a Nuggets uniform.
“Uh-uh, not at all,” he said, repeating the phrase “not at all” four times.
Asked if that was an indication he wouldn’t sign the extension so the trade with the Nets could be consummated, Anthony demurred, saying: “I haven’t heard anything. Only, that it’s just been speculation as of right now.”
Anthony noted that team executive Josh Kroenke and general manager Masai Ujiri “are not even here, so I don’t see that happening.”
In what time frame was he referring to?
“I’m just saying I don’t see it happening right now,” Anthony said.
This week sometime?
The Nets were close to acquiring Anthony during the preseason, but a four-team deal that included Utah and Charlotte fell through. Talks progressed recently with the inclusion of Detroit.
The Nets would send rookie power forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris and others to Denver in the three-team deal that would get them Anthony, Billups, Hamilton, Shelden Williams and Terrico White, who is injured.
The Pistons would get veteran Troy Murphy and center Johan Petro. Murphy has a nearly $12 million contract that will expire after this season.
Anthony can become a free agent next summer. He has refused to sign the contract extension the Nuggets offered him last summer.
Billups and Hamilton were the starting backcourt for the Pistons team that won the 2004 NBA title and remained teammates until Detroit traded Billups to his hometown club for Allen Iverson.
Billups said he didn’t know if a trade was imminent, either.
“I don’t know nothing new, so I can’t tell you nothing new,” he said.
AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.