Camby wants to stay in Portland

One name you’re likely to hear on the trade market is that of Portland center Marcus Camby. In fact, last week a rumor surfaced about Camby and teammate Andre Miller going to Charlotte for D.J. Augustin and Gerald Wallace.

Camby wasn’t happy about the rumor and would not take kindly to being traded to Charlotte or any other non-contending team, according to a person close to him. The 36-year-old Camby would even consider retirement if he were traded to a mediocre or rebuilding team, the source said.

“If he was traded to Charlotte, he would think about retiring,’’ the source said. “He’s made plenty of money. He’d rather play, but he’s at the point in his career where he doesn’t want to get bounced around from team to team. If he’s traded, it would have to be to a contender.’’

Even going to an elite team does not appeal much to Camby, who is in his 15th season. His ultimate desire is to remain in Portland. After signing a two-year, $21 million extension with the Blazers in the spring, Camby moved his family to Portland and has his two young daughters enrolled in school there. One place Camby wouldn’t mind going is Houston, where he lives in the offseason.

With productive big men at a premium, several clubs are interested in Camby’s services. He’s still averaging 11 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game, which would provide a huge boost to any contender. While acquiring Camby is probably a long shot, Orlando is one team I’m told has an interest.

Portland is as active on the trade market as any club, with Miller’s name being mentioned regularly. But while it would like to make a change, the uncertainty about Brandon Roy’s health and future has left the Blazers a bit unsure of what, exactly, they’d like to do.

Portland is one of many clubs that could wind up in a three-or four-team deal featuring Denver and New Jersey involving Carmelo Anthony. Of the Blazers' players, Nicolas Batum is the one most coveted by the Nuggets, according to league sources.

Rockets discussing Yao deal

The Rockets, looking to use Yao Ming's $17.7 million expiring contract to add a potential star or two to their roster, recently called Sacramento and offered the 7-foot-6 center for Samuel Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings had no interest, and are definitely not trading Cousins anywhere, according to sources.

Despite its poor record, Sacramento (5-23) likes its future with young building blocks Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Whatever the new salary cap is after the next collective bargaining agreement, the Kings will be far beneath it and could have more money to spend in free agency than just about any other team. So if they do make any trades this season, they won't be ones in which they add lots of salary.

Can Nuggets change Melo’s mind?

Once Carmelo Anthony returns to the lineup, the Nuggets plan to give the club -- which is healthier than it's been all season with the return of Kenyon Martin -- a few weeks to play together and jell. They will then approach Anthony one last time about signing the three-year, $64 million extension they’ve had on the table all season. If Anthony balks, which is a certainty, Denver will increase its efforts to move him.

While New Jersey remains the most probable trading partner for the Nuggets, other clubs besides New York could get in the mix. Dallas, Charlotte and Houston are teams sources say might be willing to trade for Anthony even without his promise to sign a contract extension.

Dallas doesn't have much to offer besides expiring contracts, but Houston has the young talent (Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger), expiring contracts and draft picks the Nuggets covet. The Rockets, who have won 10 of their past 13 games, feel confident they would be able to convince Anthony to sign long-term with them once he was part of their team.

Denver is trying to put Al Harrington and his five-year, $33 million deal into any trade it makes for Anthony.