By: Alex Kennedy Last Updated: 12/16/10 7:30 AM ET | 4060 times read
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When the New Jersey Nets were able to acquire two first-round picks in their three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, many felt that they solidified themselves as the frontrunners to acquire Carmelo Anthony.

Their package certainly seems the most attractive to the Denver Nuggets. With Derrick Favors, several expiring contracts and five first-round picks over the next two years, the Nuggets will have a difficult time finding a better offer if they decide to trade their superstar.

But even with all of their assets, the Nets remain an unlikely suitor for Anthony. While they strengthened their offer to the Nuggets, that was never the issue for New Jersey.

The obstacle for the organization has been making a successful pitch to Anthony that would convince him to sign an extension with the Nets. Acquiring picks gives them an advantage in trade talks, but it will still be tough for the team to sell the situation to Anthony. In fact, one source close to the forward believes that this move may have even set New Jersey back even further.

Before the trade, Anthony wasn't ready to commit to the Nets and watching them trade Terrence Williams may have made matters worse. Williams had issues with head coach Avery Johnson but at the end of the day, the forward was one of the team's few attractive pieces to Anthony because of his talent and potential.

Unless the Nets are able to acquire other players before trading for Anthony, sources don't believe he would sign an extension that would keep him in New Jersey. When asked if Carmelo would extend his contract with the Nets, one source close to the superstar made it clear he's not interested if the roster remains as currently constructed and stressed that he has his sights focused on the New York Knicks.

"No," said the source. "Carmelo is heading to New York. He wants to be a Knick and I'm just waiting to see it happen."

With the Knicks climbing in the standings, the Nets haven't helped their case by sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just six wins.

The Nets have put themselves in an excellent position for the future by stockpiling the essential pieces for a rebuilding team: young talent, expiring contracts, and first-round draft picks. But have they improved their chances of landing Carmelo Anthony? Not likely


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