by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The longer Carmelo Anthony waits to sign the contract extension that his current team, the Denver Nuggets, has placed on the table, the more time the media and their “sources” will have to drum up controversy with these type of stories.

According to CBS, ‘Melo (a man currently exploring his options, limited as they may be) is more than a little intrigued by the possibility of playing in New York.

There’s just one large financial issue to deal with first:

Anthony, an ideal fit for the Knicks, already has told confidants this summer that he’s eager to explore playing in New York. His dilemma is whether to turn down a three-year, $65 million extension offer from the Nuggets with only 10 months left in the current collective bargaining agreement. The new deal is expected to be much less lucrative for players. Sources say owners who were rattled by this summer’s free-agent frenzy — orchestrated by CAA, which represented James, Wade and Chris Bosh — are determined to clamp down not only on player salaries in the new agreement, but also player movement.

Anthony’s desire to play in New York is so strong, sources say, that those close to the three-time All-Star have scoffed at the efforts of executives touting themselves as being able to deliver him. “Carmelo already wants to play in New York,” one person with knowledge of his plans told CBSSports.com. “He doesn’t need anybody to bring him there. He’s a gunslinger. That situation is perfect for him.”

Anthony’s teammate, Chauncey Billups, said after Team USA practice Tuesday that he still doesn’t know whether Anthony will sign the extension or test the free-agent waters next summer. “If I was a betting man? I don’t know,” Billups said. “Of course, I’m biased because I’m playing on the team that he’s playing on. But I’m optimistic that he’s going to come back and play for the Nuggets. I know he loves the city. Shoot, he’s been there since he was 20 years old. So I’m optimistic, but I don’t know. I wish I did, but I don’t.”

It’s a tough decision for Carmelo Anthony to make, to be sure: with the temptation to live and work in Gotham being what it is, and the chance that fellow superstars will follow suit, the only assurance at this point remains the money and security Denver is offering. Difficult to walk away from that, especially with the threat of a lockout looming.