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Anthony Won’t Sign Extension With Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets will not sign a contract extension this summer and will likely test the waters in next summer’s free agency. From Yahoo! Sports’s Mark J. Miller:

The Denver Nuggets wanted their three-time All Star, Carmelo Anthony(notes),to sign a three-year extension this summer, but HoopsWorld reports that the 26-year-old small forward won’t be signing anytime soon.

The deal would have paid him $65 million, so Anthony is walking away from some serious dough if HoopsWorld is correct. If he doesn’t sign an extension, Anthony will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Anthony’s no fool. He saw what happened this summer. He knows that he can get a lot more money next year and can either go somewhere else or stay with the Nuggets; he’s keeping his options open.

The case for signing an extension this summer was that he could guarantee his money with the looming threat of a lockout next year, but he likes the chances the owners and the players work it out (I, too, think the concerns of no basketball in 2011-2012 are entirely premature).

That said, this report only further increases the chances that there’s a new supergroup brewing. He very well could be on his way to New York next year, with Chris Paul not far ahead or behind.

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Shaq to Ball in Europe?

According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Shaquille O’Neal is now weighing the possibility of taking his talents eastward, to play basketball in Europe next season.

Sources have indicated he’s even tested the market in Europe trying to land one last $10 million payday. But all of that is unlikely. Indeed, the Cavs may consider re-signing Shaq to a short deal that would pay him $5 million-$7 million and wait for a contender to get desperate to match up with the Lakers or Magic.

The thing is, Shaq would have to be OK with taking a lesser role on a rebuilding team and be a good citizen while biding his time. If he’s as motivated to get the money as he seems to be, he might, but it might be a gamble with chemistry for the Cavs.

To be honest, this might be Shaq’s best move. No team over here is even close to awarding him the money and playing time he wants for one last go-’round. Over in Europe, the NBA products of which are traditionally known as softees, Shaq would be a rare physical specimen, and many teams would be happy to have him at center. Heck, he might put up some decent numbers, too.

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NBA Today: June 23

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