Carmelo Anthony Might Sign Extension with the Denver Nuggets After All

Perry SchwartzCorrespondent IIIFebruary 10, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets gets open and lookls for the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

We have been hearing trade rumors involving Carmelo Anthony since the middle of last summer, and yet he is still a Denver Nugget.

With only two weeks to go until the NBA trading deadline, it appears Anthony might stay with Denver after all.

Anthony is expected to sign an extension in the neighborhood of three years and $65 million no matter where he ends up. However, a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, set to be put in place this upcoming summer, could lead to star players making significantly less money. Thus, for Anthony's sake, he should sign an extension before the end of the season.

Despite the fact that the Denver Nuggets have made it to the playoffs in all seven seasons since drafting Carmelo Anthony, there have been heavy rumors over the last six months that Anthony wants to be a New York Knick.

Meanwhile, Anthony has played in 46 of 53 possible games for Denver this season, averaging 24.7 points per game, eighth highest in the NBA, as well as a career-high 7.7 rebounds per contest. Anthony is at the core of the Nuggets offense, which scores a league high 107.7 points per game.

Oftentimes it is difficult to tell whether Anthony is actually passionate about playing for Denver or if he is just going through the motions, waiting to be traded. After all, with Anthony's size and athleticism, he is easily one of the premier scorers in the league.

Even on a bad shooting night for the 6'8", 240 pound small forward, Anthony can still score because he is so big and athletic and opposing players must foul him in order to stop him.

The New York Knicks have been unable to make a deal for Anthony up to this point partly because they are unwilling to give up Landry Fields or Danilo Gallinari, each of whom are having big seasons.

One dark horse in the Anthony talks is the New Jersey Nets, who appear willing to spend a lot of money in order to acquire him. While the Nets have pushed for a trade for Anthony, they have been unsuccessful. Rumor has it that Anthony does not want to play for New York City's second biggest team, thus significantly limiting his options.

In the last week, it has even been rumored that Anthony could be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers by the February 24th trading deadline, in a deal that would involve Lakers center Andrew Bynum. There has been little confirmation on the Lakers side regarding this deal.

A deal of this nature would make little sense for Los Angeles. After all, the Lakers are one of the most explosive offensive teams even without Anthony, and have won the last two championships in big part because of their size in the middle.

Not only is the combination of two skilled seven footers invaluable to the Lakers, but the swap of Bynum for Anthony would severely hurt the Lakers' defense. Anthony has been criticized for his lack of effort on the defensive end, which is the last thing the aging Lakers need.

Whereas the media has consistently given the impression that Anthony wants to get out of Denver, he himself has not admitted to a desire to leave. Similar to the past seven years, the Nuggets are in playoff contention with Anthony leading the team in scoring.

At this point, even though Anthony could be traded any day, it seems unlikely. Expect Denver to work out a deal with Carmelo in the next two weeks, one that would make Anthony a Nugget in his prime years.