But New York isn’t done trying to deal its highly priced star.
Armed with a hope that Carmelo Anthony will eventually waive his no-trade clause, the New York Knicks have reached out to the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers to probe their interest in a trade, league sources told The Vertical.
Knicks president Phil Jackson is determined to find a destination and deal that Anthony would agree to accept before the Feb. 23 NBA trade deadline, league sources said.
Jackson is determined to rid the roster of Anthony and his contract, and start rebuilding around Kristaps Porzingis, league sources said.
The Clippers are a team that would interest Anthony, league sources said.
Anthony also said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if New York wants to rebuild, and it seems he might eventually have to make that determination. He said yesterday management hadn’t talked to him about his no-trade clause since his highly publicized meeting with Jackson – and that’s fine. The Knicks can try to line up a trade package and then seek Anthony’s permission. There’s nothing wrong with that order of events.
But it could be tricky to reach the point they approach Anthony.
Do the Clippers or Celtics want Anthony bad enough to part with a suitable collection of assets for him?
The most obvious Clippers trade involves Blake Griffin, but he’s younger and better than Anthony. Building a deal around two of J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers could work, but Redick’s 3-and-D skills might be more valuable than Anthony’s scoring around Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. Though you never know what Doc Rivers will do, it seems unlikely Anthony is traded to the Clippers.
The Celtics, with a deep roster and a treasure trove of draft picks, could put together numerous reasonable trade packages. But Anthony’s isolation-heavy, little-defense game would change their style. It’s questionable they’d do that for a 32-year-old.
The age gap between Anthony and 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis is driving all this. On some level, it makes sense to rebuild around the incredibly talented Porzingis. But the Knicks have already built on Anthony’s timeline by signing Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee to long-term contracts and trading for Derrick Rose. That’s not a simple pivot.
There are two ways of looking at this. If the Knicks can’t trade Anthony, it might make sense to hold onto Noah, Lee and/or Rose. Or perhaps trading those three first would push Anthony to waive his no-trade clause if he resists.
It seems as if the Knicks have finally chosen a desired direction. But after years of going the other way, implementing a new plan won’t be easy.