ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Denver Nuggets were close to a three-team deal involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Jersey Nets to trade Carmelo Anthony before Christmas. The Nuggets wanted to find a third team to take the expiring contract of the Nets' Troy Murphy, which the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared willing to take.
But what stopped the trade from being consummated? A first-round draft pick:
Beyond the sticking point of Anthony accepting or refusing to sign the long-term extension with New Jersey, the deal fell apart because both Denver and Cleveland wanted the 2012 first-round pick the Nets got from Golden State in the Marcus Williams trade. That pick is protected through the first seven slots.
Overall, this trade would have involved players previously mentioned in trade possibilities. The Nuggets would have received the Nets' Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and three future first-round picks. The Nets would have taken back Anthony, Al Harrington and the Cavaliers' trade exception.
Broussard's sources also indicate that the Nuggets wanted to move Devin Harris, a point guard, to the Portland Trail Blazers for Andre Miller and Nicolas Batum, but Portland is unwilling to trade Batum. The Nuggets' interest in Batum was noted by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski a week ago.
We're just under two months before the NBA trade deadline. The Melo Rumor Carousel continues.