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Carmelo Anthony-Andre Iguodala trade in 3-way deal with Nuggets, NJ Nets, Philadelphia 76ers?

In today's Denver Post, coach George Karl talks about persuading Carmelo Anthony to stay a Nugget. But no one believes that'll happen -- probably even Karl. Which is why trade scenarios keep popping up -- most of them involving the Chicago Bulls, who seemingly have the most to offer Anthony and the Nuggets.

But there's a new possibility that could elevate the New Jersey Nets from also-ran status in the Melo sweepstakes.

This word comes from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger. After quoting a source who says Anthony has shown no interest in sticking around Denver, despite implications to the contrary from the Nuggets front office, he puts forward a prospect that involves two other franchises -- the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to Berger, the 76ers would like to get Anthony for themselves, but that's unlikely, given negative things said about the squad by former Nugget Allen Iverson, who remains a Carmelo pal. But Philly could still be part of a package transaction.

Berger writes:

Two people familiar with Denver's strategy confirmed the Nuggets would be intrigued by a deal centered around Iguodala. The Nets could sweeten any such offer with Golden State's 2012 first-round pick and two extra second-round picks they own in the same draft.

A package sending Anthony to the Nets, Favors to Philadelphia and Iguodala to Denver is one way all of these moving parts could come together.

Right now, Berger sees the main impediment as new 76ers president Rod Thorn. As such, he concedes, this combo "has yet to rise to the level of discussion among the teams."

Clearly, the Nuggets should be talking to someone at this point, Losing Anthony would be bad, but losing him and getting squat in return would be absolutely catastrophic. It simply can't happen if Denver is to avoid years of horrific mediocrity on the level fans experienced before Anthony's arrival.

Iguodala's no Melo, but given the other pieces the Nuggets still command, the team would be at least competitive and potentially better than that. New GM Masai Ujiri shouldn't dismiss this idea out of hand -- especially if his alternate strategy involves wishin' and-a hopin' that Anthony learns to love Denver again.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts