- Associated Press - Saturday, February 19, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony during the All Star weekend in Los Angeles.

A spokeswoman for the Russian billionaire released an update Saturday saying that Prokhorov had not met with Anthony and has no plans to meet with the Denver Nuggets star.

The announcement by Ellen Pinchuk casts doubt on whether the Nets will make a deal for Anthony with Thursday’s NBA trading deadline fast approaching.

There have been reports in recent days that the Nets and Nuggets renewed trade talks for Anthony for the third time this season.

However, Anthony, who can became a free agent after this season, insisted twice Friday that no meeting was planned with Prokhorov.

Pinchuk backed that up Saturday.

“Just to update you, Mikhail has not met with and has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony,” she said. “He is looking forward to enjoying All Star Weekend. We will have nothing else to add on this …”

The Nuggets have looked into trading Anthony since he declined to sign a three-year contract extension worth nearly $65 million this season.

The Nets were been close to a deal twice. The New York Knicks are considered the other favorite to land Anthony if Denver decides to move him.

Dallas and Houston reportedly have been interested in trading for Anthony without a guarantee he would sign an extension. He doesn’t want either of those deals.

The Prokhorov update seems to make the Knicks the favorite in the “Melo” sweepstakes.

There have been reports that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan wants to meet with Anthony this weekend. Anthony said Friday there was no meeting scheduled with him, either, but seems to see the value in talking with a team that’s interested in him.

The Nuggets approached the Nets in the past week to see if they were still interested in acquiring the small forward, an NBA source close to Nets told The Associated Press on Thursday. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the team.

There were reports that the Nets and Nuggets discussed a deal that would have sent point guard Devin Harris, rookie forward Derrick Favors, the No. 3 pick in the draft, others and at least three of the Nets‘ five first-round draft picks over the next two seasons to Denver for Anthony, point guard Chauncey Billups and others.

The Nets were close to a deal for Anthony in training camp and there was a 10-day span in January when the Nets and Nuggets appeared on the verge of pulling off a blockbuster 15- or 16-player, three-team deal with Detroit that would have brought Anthony to New Jersey.

When the deal lingered for 10 days without resolution, Prokhorov ended the speculation in dramatic fashion, saying the lingering talks were hurting his team. He also cited the high price the Nuggets were seeking and his frustration with the public nature of the talks.

On Thursday, Prokhorov’s spokeswoman insisted that Prokhorov had not changed his mind with the impending NBA trading deadline approaching.

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