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Carmelo Anthony trade: Is Houston's Luis Scola, not Kevin Martin, on Nuggets' wish list?

Carmelo.
More dizzying twists in Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. This week, we've been told the New Jersey Nets are his choice, in a likely concession to his fame-addicted reality-TV-star wife La La Vazquez -- only to hear Chicago is really his top pick. But are the Nuggets pushing for a pact with Houston featuring Luis Scola, not Kevin Martin?

That's one of the contentions in a fascinating NBA Fanhouse roundup by Sam Amick, who breaks down the top contenders and their chances of landing themselves a Melo.

First up: New Jersey -- although that position may not hold. A league source tells Amick that Anthony may be resistant to inking an extension with the Nets, which would immediately quash the deal.

Next, the Knicks, the early focus of trade buzz thanks to Chris Paul's July wedding toast hinting at an NYC hook-up with Melo and Amare Stoudemire. Problem is, the Knicks have virtually nothing to offer the Nugs without the assistance of a third team -- and the attendant complications could be insurmountable.

Then come the Rockets, and this intriguing bit of news from Amick:

Contrary to reports, it's the 2012 Knicks pick -- and not Rockets shooting guard Kevin Martin -- that is part of the ongoing discussions between Denver and Houston. While it has been reported that Martin is the central figure of Morey's proposal for Anthony, two sources close to the Rockets say that's not the case.

What's more, Martin told FanHouse that Morey called him Wednesday morning to inform that the reports were inaccurate. The Nuggets aren't looking to take on sizable future salaries like Martin's as it is (three years and approximately $36 million remaining), but they have a greater interest in adding to their frontcourt than they do the perimeter and might be enticed to build the deal around forward Luis Scola (five years, $47 million).

Scola is more of a role player than a potential marquee item -- but the Knicks' number one is likely to be a lottery pick. Problem is, the Nuggets would be left to wander in Melo-less mediocrity for two seasons before being able to turn that particular dream into something tangible.

As for Chicago, Amick is among those who think the key to the deal is Joakim Noah, who the Bulls clearly want to keep. But as Amick points out, Chicago has more intriguing pieces -- among them Luol Deng, James Johnson and Taj Gibson, plus draft choices aplenty. And while he hardly positions Golden State, the L.A. Clippers, the New Orleans Hornets or the Minnesota Timberwolves as having great shots, he doesn't write them off entirely.

From the Nuggets' perspective, the more the merrier. But since no trade will happen without Anthony agreeing to re-up with the team in question, he holds the trump card. That still makes Chicago his likeliest landing spot in my view, with New Jersey at number two. But could he be happy in Houston? That may be more of a question for La La than for him...


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