Carmelo Anthony Is Going to Overshadow All-Star Weekend

With end of 'Melo chase in sight, conflicting reports are flying fast and furious

By Josh Alper
|  Sunday, Feb 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:16 AM EDT
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Carmelo Anthony Is Going to Overshadow All-Star Weekend

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The entire NBA world is gathering in Los Angeles this weekend for the All-Star Game and that means that the City of Angels will be one-stop shopping for all your Carmelo Anthony rumor needs for the next three days.

Judging from what's happened thus far, it figures to be a buyer's market. The biggest problem is going to be separating the wheat from the chaff as the Nets and Knicks circle the player they've been chasing all year long.

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nets and Nuggets are discussing a deal that would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups and stocking stuffers to the Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four (FOUR!) first-round picks. That is well beyond anything the Knicks are thought to be interested in giving up for Anthony's services, leading to the natural conclusion that the public nature of these talks is, at least in part, designed to get the Knicks to up the ante.

There's a fairly big caveat to the Yahoo! rumor, however.

That would be the fact that Mikhail Prokhorov says he hasn't changed his mind about pursuing a trade for Anthony. His spokeswoman said just that -- "Mikhail hasn't changed his mind" -- when asked about the reports of renewed talks between Denver and New Jersey.

Confused yet? It gets twistier. The Daily News is reporting that Prokhorov, despite the above, will be meeting with Anthony in L.A. this weekend. James Dolan is also reportedly meeting with the object of his affection while in town for owner's meetings.

The meetings are scheduled for Friday or Saturday and can only happen with the permission of the Nuggets. Their interest in letting Prokhorov charm the pants off of Anthony is obvious, less clear is why they'd let the Knicks talk to him without a deal to their liking on the table.

Unless, of course, their plan is to let Dolan sour Anthony on the Knicks and push him to sign an extension with the Nets. That would be a savvy move, but there's yet another wrench. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com is reporting that Anthony hasn't agreed to any meetings. Since he still holds all the most important cards, that's a pretty big hurdle to overcome.  

Presumably this meeting stuff will be sorted out at some point on Friday and we'll get a whole new spate of rumors to keep the merry-go-round spinning a little bit longer. Thankfully, Thursday is the absolute expiration date for all the chatter because we're getting awfully close to that point in the round and round where everyone starts painting the floor with vomit.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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