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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If no Melo, Knicks have potential Plan Bs

By Chris Broussard

While the New York Knicks remain confident in their chances of acquiring Carmelo Anthony this season, they are preparing backup plans in case he winds up in New Jersey or elsewhere.

After Anthony declared how important signing the three-year, $64.47 million contract extension is to him during last week's visit to Madison Square Garden, the Knicks realized they may have trouble signing him as a free agent next summer.

More and more, the thinking at Knicks headquarters is that Anthony will sign the extension with some club -- be it New York, New Jersey or whomever -- rather than become a free agent with a lockout looming.

So if the Knicks can't trade for Anthony by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, they've got two other potential Plan Bs in mind.

In one, they may go after Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, who would seem to fit nicely in Mike D'Antoni's system. Eddy Curry's expiring contract and one other player might be enough to pry Iguodala away from the Sixers, though Philadelphia doesn't want to give away its top player in a mere salary dump.

The Knicks' other scenario would potentially bring Cleveland's proven role players Anderson Varejao and Daniel "Boobie" Gibson to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are aware of their need for more toughness inside and Varejao would provide that. And Gibson could fill the backup point guard spot the Knicks have been looking to upgrade.

The Knicks are weighing whether those two options are better than what they could get on next summer's free agent market.

Of course, Anthony remains the most coveted prize, and the Knicks still believe they can get him. Denver would rather deal with New Jersey, though, since the Nets have more to offer.

The Nets have several potential trades for Anthony on the table and are merely waiting for Denver to choose one, according to sources. That doesn't mean a deal could be completed immediately; just that the Nets would then begin getting agreements from the various parties involved.

The Nets have trade scenarios based on two-team deals between them and the Nuggets, as well as three- and four-team deals on the table.

The two clubs have stayed in periodic contact over the past few months, but haven't spoken since Saturday, according to one source.