The Nets are closing in on a four-team deal to acquire Anthony from the Nuggets, but until the deal becomes official, the Knicks aren't entirely out of the picture. If Anthony declines to sign an extension with the Nets, the deal is off. And if Anthony plays out the season and enters free agency, the Knicks would be the clear favorites to sign him.
However, the Knicks could also be in position to acquire Anthony via a trade if team president Donnie Walsh can find a first-round pick to include in a potential deal. The Knicks traded their 2012 first-round pick to the Rockets in the Tracy McGrady deal, a decision that Walsh admitted that he now second-guesses. League rules prohibit teams from trading their own first-round picks in consecutive years.
The Knicks conceivably can trade a player for a first-round pick, and there is some interest around the league for Anthony Randolph, the third-year forward who came to New York in the David Lee sign-and-trade with Golden State. According to a source, the Rockets would consider trading a first-round pick for Randolph.