- Associated Press - Monday, February 21, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - While the Nets remain confident about acquiring Carmelo Anthony, a person familiar with the trade talks says New Jersey is interested in acquiring some former Knicks if the Denver Nuggets decide to ship Anthony to New York.

The person insists the Nets remain “confident” they can acquire Anthony in a deal that would ship point guard Devin Harris, rookie Derrick Favors, two other players and four first-round draft picks to Denver. If the deal falls through or Anthony is dealt to the Knicks instead, the Nets are prepared to pick up some of the pieces.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak for the team.

The Nets and Nuggets have talked about a deal in which New Jersey will send two first-round draft picks to Denver for Russian center Timofey Mozgov and one of the three other players the Knicks reportedly are willing to send to Denver _ Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler or Raymond Felton _ according to the person familiar with the talks.

Anthony had an excused absence when the Nuggets practiced Monday night. Instead of taping up his ankles, the All-Star forward was in Burbank, Calif., taping a segment on “Conan.”

Anthony stayed behind in Los Angeles following the NBA All-Star game while his teammates gathered at the Pepsi Center for their first workout since the break.

Team spokesman Tim Gelt told The AP that Anthony’s absence was excused. Late Monday afternoon, Anthony tweeted: “Headed to Burbank to film THE CONAN SHOW.”

In Greenburgh, N.Y., Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said Monday he was “ready for anything.”

“I think everybody is waiting the next three days to see what happens, see the cosmetics, see if it’s big,” he said. “We’re ready for anything but we do business as usual. We’re preparing for Milwaukee.”

The Knicks return from the All-Star break against the Bucks on Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, not knowing what their roster may look like. Gallinari, Felton, Mozgov and Chandler were all at practice Monday.

Asked if he favored trading for Anthony while giving up three starters, D’Antoni said: “We could sit here, debate all day, but I’m not going to do it. It’s just not worth it.”

Anthony had said he hoped to resolve his future by the end of All-Star weekend while the entire basketball world gathered in Los Angeles. Instead, he remains a Nugget for now.

Gallinari, whose name has been mentioned ever since the Anthony trade talks started, said he had not talked to Knicks president Donnie Walsh and D’Antoni.

“We didn’t talk about it because it’s been getting old,” he said. “The same thing for a month, more than that. We’re talking about this team, what I should do, what I could do and what’s my job, reach our goals. We’re not talking about the trade.

“It’s tough to leave New York. It’s part of the NBA life and it’s part of how the NBA works. You got to deal with that.”

The Melodrama reached perhaps its most bizarre point Sunday. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov essentially said at least the Nets drove up New York’s price. And the Knicks hierarchy insisted they were unified in their pursuit of the All-Star forward amid reports someone who no longer works for the team _ Isiah Thomas _ was pulling the strings.

Anthony finally acknowledged meeting with Prokhorov and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, saying they were “generic meetings that (the Nuggets) allowed me to take, but nothing specific.”


AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in Los Angeles, AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton and Pat Graham in Denver and freelance writer Adriano Torres in Greenburgh, N.Y., contributed to this report.

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