Tag: Carmelo Anthony

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

Report: Carmelo Anthony open to waiving no-trade clause


Are the Knicks better off with or without Carmelo Anthony and his massive contract?

That was the hot debate last summer, when Melo was a free agent and New York had a chance to let its star player walk.

Instead, the Knicks re-signed Melo to a five-year, $124,064,681 contract, which includes a no-trade clause. With that, the debated seemed over.

Phil Jackson said good things about Melo. Melo said good things about the Knicks. The honeymoon appeared to be in full swing.

But even with Melo’s tempered expectations, this season has been a disaster.

Amar’e Stoudemire criticized the team’s effort, and Melo agreed. Jackson described toxic elements of the Knicks’ culture. Melo reportedly threatened to beat up Tim Hardaway Jr. Players reportedly dislike Phil Jackson’s Derek Fisher’s triangle offenseAnd Melo might need knee surgery.

Suddenly, the “Should the Knicks trade Melo?” question is re-emerging. This will again make it a national talking point.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

sources told The Post the All-Star forward would be open to dropping his no-trade clause if team president Phil Jackson strikes a deal with a team Anthony would like to play for.

“He thought things would be better than this, but he still wants to stick it out for now, ’’ a source said. “He trusts Phil, but I think he’s afraid of Phil.’’

It’s important to remember this report does not say Melo has demanded, requested or even hoped for a trade. He re-signed with the Knicks for a reason, and 24 games – even if 20 of them have been losses – are not enough to completely alter his rationale.

That said, this information leaked for a reason. Someone, whether in Melo’s camp or from the Knicks, wants to make clear that all is not well. New York trading Melo so soon would be a drastic step that neither side saw coming when this contract was signed.

However, a trade might not be so crazy. The Nuggets traded Melo, and they turned out fine (for a while after the deal, at least). As Jackson applies his vision to the Knicks, he might value a fresh start more than he realized when re-signing Melo this summer.

Another obstacle – the 15 percent trade kicker in Melo’s contract – has been overstated. It  would not affect anything if he’s traded this season. A trade kicker can’t raise a player’s salary above the max, and Carmelo is already there.

However, if Melo is traded next season, when his salary drops below the max, the trade kicker would net him more money. If the salary cap rises high enough, the final three years of Melo’s contract could also fall below the max, and if it does, a trade during those seasons would also provide Melo his trade bonus.

A trade this season wouldn’t get Melo any extra money. A trade next season would definitely get him extra money. A trade after that might get him extra money.

Knowing those facts could certainly sway Melo to remain patient.

So could his desire to remain in New York.

Beyond finding a trade that satisfies both teams and meets the league’s salary-cap requirements, individual agendas will come into play.

Carmelo Anthony, who cares a lot about his personal branding, has business interests in New York. Playing in the nation’s biggest market certainly raises his (and his wife’s) prominence. A no-trade clause allows Melo to stay in New York if he determines that’s most important to him.

Likewise, Jackson might be hesitant to admit he made a mistake in re-signing Melo. Even a trade that gives the Knicks a high return would be perceived by many as an admission of failure.

It’s a lot to sort out, and considering neither side expected to reach this point already, it’s extremely unlikely Melo gets traded anytime soon.

But if Melo eventually agrees to a trade, what destinations might he accept?

His free-agency tour last summer gives us an idea. Melo met with the Bulls, Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers.

Chicago came closest to luring Melo from New York, and Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, both of whom recruited Melo, are still in the picture. The Bulls definitely put Melo closer to a championship. Remember, Melo’s college coach, Jim Boeheim, said Melo should have chosen Chicago.

At one point, the Lakers also reportedly gave Melo a lot to think about. Melo is on record saying he’s not opposed to playing with Kobe Bryant, though that’s easier to say when not faced with the real possibility.

Dwight Howard worked hard to get Melo to Houston, and maybe Melo would give the Rockets another look. The Mavericks didn’t believe they’d sign Melo, which probably wouldn’t bode well for them a second time around.

Melo also reportedly looked into joining LeBron James in Miami. Perhaps, the Cavaliers or Heat would appeal to him now.

Some teams that lacked cap room last summer might appeal to Melo, too.

It’s time to start thinking about how and where Melo could exit New York. The Knicks don’t have to trade him, and he doesn’t have to accept a deal. But, for both sides, the possibility is at least worth considering.

Carmelo Anthony has history of not getting along with younger teammates

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony reportedly threatened to beat up Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Knicks teammates chalked that up to the heat of the battle, and each insisted he respected the other. That may well be true.

But if there’s a real discord between Melo and Hardaway, it wouldn’t be the first time the star has had an issue with a younger teammate.

Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal:

Last year, it was Iman Shumpert who got frustrated with Anthony following a lazy defensive effort that resulted in a four-point play against New Orleans. Landry Fields openly acknowledged shrinking as a player following Anthony’s trade to New York, presumably because he never developed a comfort level with him. And last year, according to a person familiar with the matter, Anthony grew highly agitated with former Knick Jeremy Tyler during a practice in which Tyler apparently trash-talked him.

Melo, as the team’s star player, hasn’t necessarily violated decorum here. It’s on Hardaway, Shumpert, Fields and Tyler to appease him – not the other way around. It’s a wonder Tyler lasted as long he did in New York if he bothered Melo.

But if Melo wants to be a leader for the Knicks, he must be more mindful of how he comes across.

Take Fields. Nothing in Fields’ play since has suggested he deserved to maintain a large role once Melo arrive in New York. Running the offense through Melo at the expense of Fields was absolutely a justifiable decision. But that doesn’t mean Fields had to like it, and it’d be understandable if he resented Melo because of it – especially if they didn’t share a close bond.

In the same vein, Melo and Hardaway arguing during a game doesn’t mean much in itself . Older players sometimes chastise their younger teammates in good environments, too. But someone obviously felt that situation was evidence of a bigger problem and fed the story to Chris Broussard.

And that’s where Melo has to be better, especially with the Knicks losing.

Losing intensifies problems, and it puts everyone on edge. Even if Melo and Hardaway have a good relationship, the disappointment of this season makes either more likely to spite the other – or for teammates to believe that. That’s just how it goes.

If the Knicks were winning, Melo’s minor problems with younger teammates wouldn’t ever be brought up. But once the team struggles, people look for explanations, and this seems to be one.

So, Melo can continue to operate as he does, and it’d be OK. But if he wants to make a difference in New York, he has to work to change – whether it’s fair or unfair – the perception about him.

Carmelo Anthony, Tim Hardaway Jr. deny any lingering friction

Carmelo Anthony, Tim Hardaway Jr.

Yes, they argued. They own that.

Two emotional guys, two competitors, on a team that’s losing a lot (10 straight as of Wednesday night), you have to expect that.

But Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. want you to know they’re all good.

Both teammates were asked about a report earlier this week that they had argued and Anthony had said he would beat Hardaway up after the game (which never happened, obviously). Both admitted the argument but said there was nothing to it, reports ESPNNewYork.com.

“Me and Tim have no problems,” Anthony said before the Knicks’ 109-95 loss to the Spurs. “…. Tim is a guy who I always wrapped my arm around and put under my wing from Day 1, helped him through times when he’s been down, and I will continue doing that.”

Added Hardaway Jr.: “We’re brothers. Brothers argue in the heat of the moment and then they make up. It’s just that simple. I look at Melo as a mentor.”

Of course there is some tension in the Knicks locker room — they are 4-20. If they were all good with that, if it were all puppy dogs and rainbows, if they were not in each other’s faces a little, then I’d be worried. A lot of the players don’t like the triangle? Shocking. It doesn’t fit most of their games, of course they don’t. Along those same lines of course they don’t like the culture change and getting called out. There are a lot of flaws on this roster. This team lacks defenders. It also lacks the unselfish players the triangle offense needs to work. That has included Anthony for portions of this year, he has not bought in like Derek Fisher needs him to on the court.

Things are not likely to get better for a while. Anthony was out Wednesday night to rest his troublesome knee, and the rest of the Knicks could not beat a Spurs team sitting its top four players. The Knicks have players that are simply a terrible fit for the offense and systems Derek Fisher wants to install. It’s going to take a couple years of Phil Jackson the front office wizard to turn this roster into something that can really compete. Even in the East.

In the meantime, the Knicks can just have more team meetings. The Knicks had one last Saturday. Befitting the Festivus season, there was the airing of grievances.

“It was a very productive meeting. Everybody had a platform to say how they felt about what was going on,” said Anthony. “It wasn’t about the system or anything specific like that. It was about what we all can do to be better as a team and get over this hump.”