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Carmelo Anthony trade: Mark Warkentien to be groomed as general manager for Melo's Knicks?

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As predicted in our post about Carmelo Anthony's awful play versus the 76ers, Melo went off last night against the New Jersey Nets, who pulled the plug on a deal when he balked at signing a contract extension -- yet the Nugs still lost handily. Not that it matters, since New York Knicks moves are making it even more likely he winds up in NYC, and soon.

That's our interpretation of a piece by the New York Daily News' Frank Isola about Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh.

As Isola reports, Madison Square Gardens chairman James Dolan has until April 30 to "exercise or decline the fourth-year option on Walsh's contract." With the Knicks on pace to make the playoffs, Isola expects that Walsh will return -- and he makes it clear that the grizzled GM, who celebrates the big 7-0 in March, is a fan of Mark Warkentien, the former Nuggets general manager who's been asked to join the Knicks as a consultant, according to Yahoo! Sports. Indeed, Isola notes that "Walsh tried to hire both Warkentien and Chris Mullin last summer."

At that time, Dolan reportedly vetoed the move "because the Knicks already have Glen Grunwald, John Gabriel and Allan Houston under contract." But now, with the trade deadline looming and Anthony's interest in heading to Manhattan as plain as the jet that will fly him there, even Dolan is likely to see the wisdom in having Warkentien aboard. After all, as Isola points out, "The highly respected Warkentien is the obvious choice to eventually succeed Walsh."

Warkentien's first priority once his hiring becomes official? Presumably "to help the Knicks acquire the Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, who on Sunday called the hiring of his old boss in Denver 'a great addition to their organization,'" Isola writes.

Indeed: The outreach to Warkentien can't possibly be either coincidental or unrelated to Melo. And while Anthony can expect to hear the same kind of booing that greeted him in New Jersey last night when he plays the Nets in the future, such contempt probably won't sting much -- since he'll be wearing a New York Knicks uniform.

More from our Sports archive: "Carmelo Anthony-Amare Stoudemire-Chris Paul team-up: Don't laugh it off."

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