Eric Gay, Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson said Monday he hasn't been told of any potential meeting with trade target Carmelo Anthony but wants to be a part of it if one does happen.
Reports surfaced Sunday that the Denver Nuggets gave the Nets permission to talk with Anthony to persuade him to accept a three-year, $65 million extension, which could pave the way for a three-team deal that would send the All-Star forward to New Jersey. Anthony said Sunday night in San Antonio he didn't want to talk to any potential trade suitors.
Johnson said before Monday's game against Golden State that general manager Billy King had not told him of any potential meeting.
"You guys always have something new every day," Johnson told reporters. "If there's such a meeting taking place, make sure you guys contact (Nets spokesman) Gary Sussman so I can make sure I make myself available."
Trade speculation has surrounded Anthony since he turned down a three-year, $65 million contract extension that's been on the table since last summer.
It has heated up in recent weeks with talk of a potential three-team trade involving New Jersey, Denver and Detroit. Johnson said he is more concerned with getting his team to play better. The Nets have lost five straight and 10 of 11 coming into the game against the Warriors.
"What I want to do is try to get a win," Johnson said. "We're 0-3 on this trip and we've come close in a few of those games. Right now, my job is to coach. ... I'm trying to keep our players locked in."
The reported deal would reunite Billups and Richard Hamilton in New Jersey along with Anthony. New Jersey would send rookie power forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris and others to Denver in the deal that would get them Anthony, Billups, Hamilton, Shelden Williams and Terrico White, who is injured.
The Pistons would receive veteran Troy Murphy and center Johan Petro. Murphy has a nearly $12 million contract that will expire after this season.
Johnson said reports that the overhaul was imminent were inaccurate.
"You'll see the same team again on Wednesday," he said. "I guess we were supposed to have a new team on Wednesday but that didn't happen."
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