The NBA season starts next week, and new superstar Amare Stoudemire has looked very, very good so far for the Knicks; he scored an NBA preseason high 39 points yesterday against future crosstown rivals the Nets. The two teams have been do-si-do'ing for the past few months in pursuit of Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, who has expressed a desire to be traded to a bigger market team. And coming out on top of the trade rumor pile today is...the Knicks.

The Knicks have long been Anthony's preferred destination; one source told CBS Sports that "Carmelo already wants to play in New York...He's a gunslinger. That situation is perfect for him." But the Knicks had lacked trade assets to entice Denver. But according to ESPN, the Knicks have "made significant progress" in talks with Denver. Their possible offers have included Anthony Randolph, the expiring, lumpen contract of Eddy Curry, and a first-round draft pick they would acquire from a third team. They've now softened their stance on including forward Danilo Gallinari in a trade too. The move would turn the Knicks into an instant playoff contender, but would also gut the roster completely.

It's hard to tell whether real progress has been made, or if the Knicks hope that by making the talks public, they can increase pressure on Denver to get a trade done before the season starts. It may all just be innuendo; sources told ESPN that since the four-team-trade that wasn't last month, the Nets have "faded from the Anthony sweepstakes, growing disinclined to include rookie Derrick Favors in a trade." But the Daily News says practically the opposite: "After Favors had his best game of the preseason, you just knew the Nets were hoping that the Nuggets would look at the video and finally decide to send them Carmelo Anthony." We certainly think Anthony would look good in either 3D or in a Brooklyn Nyets jersey.