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LA Times Throws Cold Water on Carmelo Anthony Rumors

For about 30 seconds this evening, I thought about putting together a post summarizing today's developments on the Carmelo Anthony front, but I soon realized this was an utterly hopeless task. Chris Broussard's ESPN report this morning, to the effect that the Lakers and Nuggets have had preliminary discussions about a trade of Melo for Andrew Bynum, has plunged Lakerdom into the deranged whirlwind of anonymous rumor-mongering that's come to define NBA trade discussions in the modern age. Suffice it to say, we've rapidly reached a point where you can find an unnamed source to vouch for pretty much any set of Melo-related facts you'd prefer to believe.

About half an hour ago, for whatever it's worth, Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times posted an article on the newspaper's website that offers a pretty vigorous refudiation of the rumors. Laker officials, evidently, tell Bresnahan there's "zero chance" of a Melo deal. The misgivings relate not to Melo's value as a player but to dolla dolla bills, y'all.

The Lakers view Anthony as a top-tier player but are tepid about trading for him because of the massive contract ramifications. Anthony, 26, has one more season remaining at $18.5 million but can void it and become a free agent after this season. He is seeking a three-year extension worth $65 million that would kick in after next season. The Lakers have the league's largest payroll ($90 million), and acquiring Anthony could push them into the stratosphere as far as salary structure and accompanying luxury taxes.

An interesting sidenote, according to the story, is that there were "informal discussions" between the teams about a deal involving Melo and Pau Gasol that the Lakers "declined to continue."

There've been loads of pieces about the Melo situation floating around today, and if you want to track every bounce of the ball I suggest looking through the SS&R comment threads, as people have been great about sharing what they've come across. Definitely keep it up, and if anything especially momentous catches our eye, we'll be sure to front-page it.

Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.