You may have heard a Carmelo Anthony trade rumor or two over the last few months. The story has been ongoing seemingly forever, and it may reach its expected conclusion in the very near future.

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

Apr. 25, 2010 - Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA - epa02131979 Denver Nugget's Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket during a game against the Utah Jazz in the first half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 25 April 2010.

The explanation given at the Pepsi Center gift shops was “an excess of inventory,” but it was a harbinger if there ever was one — Carmelo Anthony jerseys, 50 percent off.

It’s quite possible that Melo played his last game at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night. No, Anthony has not officially said he would agree to a trade to New Jersey. But all this could happen within the week; Denver plays at San Antonio tonight and then comes back home Wednesday.

The plan remains for the Nuggets to cook up the deal, likely to the Nets, and present it to Anthony, who Saturday spoke about the Nuggets . . . and his future elsewhere.

Asked Saturday what it would take for him to sign a three-year extension, with any team, Melo said: “I got to feel like I have a chance of reaching my ultimate goal of a championship. Going to a bigger market is cool, but if I feel like I have a chance of winning a championship here in Denver in the next five years, then I’d sign the extension.”

The Nuggets aren’t headed for a championship. Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin are on their way down, not up. Nene and J.R. Smith are pretty good, and then there’s Melo and some supporting parts. All signs point to Melo being traded in the coming days or weeks.

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