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Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010

Nets pursuing Anthony in possible four-team trade

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New Jersey Nets might be getting a superstar after all.

News photo
Ready for departure: All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony could be on his way from the Denver Nuggets to the New Jersey Nets as part of a four-team trade. AP PHOTO

After failing to lure LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh to New Jersey during the free-agency sweepstakes this summer, the Nets are engaged in trade talks to acquire Carmelo Anthony.

A person close to the talks who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the team said on Friday that the Nets were involved in very complicated talks with the Denver Nuggets for the small forward. The person added that nothing was expected to be decided Friday.

Yahoo Sports first reported the trade talks.

The price that the Nets would pay for Anthony in what would be a multiteam trade would be steep.

Yahoo said the Nuggets wanted power forward Derrick Favors, the No. 3 pick overall in the draft, and a protected 2012 first-round pick the Nets received from Golden State.

The Utah Jazz and Charlotte Bobcats also would be involved in the trade and Yahoo reported that the Bobcats would get All-Star point guard Devin Harris from the Nets.

Charlotte would send forward Boris Diaw to the Jazz, who would send forward Andrei Kirilenko to the Nuggets. The Nets would also get point guard D.J. Augustin from the Bobcats.

Nets general manager Billy King did not return a message seeking a comment.

Nets spokesman Gary Sussman e-mailed reporters, saying that King would not comment on trade rumors.

The Nuggets have offered Anthony a three-year extension valued at $65 million, but he has refused to sign it.

The deal with the Nets would be incumbent on Anthony signing the extension, Yahoo reported.

Word of the trade talks surfaced on Friday, hours after new coach Avery Johnson and players reported to camp and talked to the media about the upcoming season. The team's first practice is Saturday.

There have been talks about trades involving the Nets and Anthony in recent weeks and Johnson was asked about the rumors.

"All year you are going to hear stuff about not only our situation but every team. That's the way it goes," he said. "Every general manager, and you have 30 of them, they are always out looking to improve the ballclub and that's what they should do. If Billy was sitting up in his office looking at some political talk on television, because I heard he was a politics guy, I would be very disappointed. He is going to be always looking to improve our ball club."

Johnson said that he wants Harris to be the engine that runs the team and he noted that Favors shows the potential at 19 that Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett showed at the same age.

Phil may carry on

EL SEGUNDO , Calif. (AP) Coach Phil Jackson returned from his annual summer vacation in Montana with a close-cropped white beard and a renewed determination to win one last championship in his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Except it might not be Jackson's last stand after all.

The 11-time NBA champion coach acknowledged Friday he's still uncertain whether he'll retire after the upcoming season, as he repeatedly vowed earlier this summer when he agreed to return with a pay cut for a shot at an unprecedented fourth threepeat.

"I can't tell," Jackson said with a grin at the Lakers' training complex. "Every year, I like to go into a season (thinking) this is it, putting everything into it."

While weighing in on everything from the Miami superteam to his choice for a successor on the Lakers' bench, Jackson radiated confidence in his defending champions and their restocked roster. The Lakers report for an early training camp to prepare for a European tour next month.

But Jackson also acknowledged center Andrew Bynum probably won't be ready for the start of the regular season after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

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