Carmelo Anthony trade: Is Spike Lee the reason Nuggets, New York Knicks talks back on?

Why are Carmelo Anthony trade talks between the Nuggets and New York Knicks heating up again? One theory is that the Nugs have lowered their demands and expectations, believing getting something for Melo is better than nothing.

But now comes another possibility, and a pretty funny one, too: Spike Lee may be acting as an unpaid Knicks negotiator.

According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, Knicks president Donnie Walsh decided to get back in the Anthony acquisition game with renewed vigor at the prompting of filmmaker Lee, the franchise's most famous (and loyal) fan. Berman cites a source who says Lee and Anthony have talked several times of late, with Melo making it clear he desperately wants to wind up with the Knicks -- a message Lee is said to have passed on to Walsh.

You'll remember that some observers suggested an earlier deal to ship Carmelo to the New Jersey Nets was scuttled due partly to Knicks tampering -- a charge Walsh denied to the Post's Berman at the time. But as Berman notes, Lee's Melo chats aren't against league rules, since he's not an employee of the team.

Meanwhile, Berman suggests the Nuggets are still cool on a deal involving Anthony Randolph and Danilo Gallinari -- for good reason -- and continue to hope another team can get involved as a way to upgrade the package. However, he speculates that Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who used to hold the same position with the Nuggets, has been talking up Randolph of late, even though he's looked mediocre during the prison.

Is that an indication D'Antoni is trying to encourage a trade, even though Walsh insists one isn't imminent? Probably. There's no guarantee something will get done prior to the Nuggets' first game, on October 27 against Utah, but it would be better for all involved if it did. So long as the deal doesn't blow for Denver, that is.

More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony-Amare Stoudemire love match during Melo's wedding week?"

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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