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Carmelo Anthony trade: Can Knicks get a first rounder? And do Nets = Clippers?

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As predicted, all the breathless talk among the local media about Carmelo Anthony possibly being traded to the New Jersey Nets yesterday proved to be premature, probably because Melo would much rather go to the New York Knicks. Now, however, there are signs that the Knicks may be looking for a way to obtain a first-round draft pick to counter the pair grabbed by the Nets as enticement for the Nuggets.

Our source is the New York Post's Marc Berman, who talked to Knicks president Donnie Walsh after the Nets' first-round acquisitions. "I'm feeling very confident we can be in position to get a first-round pick if we want it," Walsh told Berman in a comment that wasn't specifically about a potential Carmelo bid -- although I think we all know what he meant.

As Berman points out, "the Knicks are not eligible to trade a first-round pick until 2014, because they gave up their 2012 pick to Houston in a trade for Tracy McGrady." That gives the Nets a profound value advantage when it comes to any Anthony offer. But that may not matter to Melo, who's said he'd like to play for a team with a chance at a championship -- and the Nets don't seem within a light year of accomplishing that goal.

Anthony seemed to acknowledge that truth in a comment made over the weekend. In his words, "A lot of people are waiting for that team to move to Brooklyn to see how it's going to turn out -- if it's going to be a Lakers-Clippers situation or what."

Translation: The Nets could become an apparently permanent joke in their new hometown, as are the Clippers in Los Angeles.

This comment hardly implies that Anthony is seriously considering the Nets. But if the New Jersey crew's aggressiveness forces the Knicks to up its ante, Denver might get something more than iffy compensation for the player who helped make the Nuggets relevant again following a looooong dry spell.

More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony trade: Did Amare Stoudemire, NY Knicks kill 4-way deal featuring NJ Nets?"

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