When the Knicks traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland as part of the three-team deal that sent Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City, New York did so purely for financial reasons that had nothing to do with improving the product on the court for this season.
The players the Knicks received in the deal will all be waived, which will increase the salary cap space that will be available to the team to add real talent this summer.
Carmelo Anthony expected a rough year of rebuilding, but he surely didn’t envision a season as disastrous as this one. Still, he’s in it for the long haul after signing a five-year max contract extension in the offseason, and knows he needs to trust in the moves Phil Jackson is making from the front office.
“I’ve got to trust in what’s happening. I’ve got to trust in the plan that they’re trying to put in place,” Anthony said. …
“I kind of knew that it was going to be kind of a rebuilding situation. But to be in the situation that we’re in now from a record standpoint, I couldn’t imagine this in a long time,” said Anthony, who has missed three straight games because of knee soreness but hopes to return to the court next week. …
“When I first committed back to New York, that was something I always said: I had to trust that them guys know what they’re doing and believe in them guys. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to come back,” said Anthony, who signed a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks in July. “Here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.”
Anthony faces the media regularly and dutifully as he always has, and for the most part, plays the game well and gives the politically correct responses.
The reality, however, is that he knew full well the chances of making the playoffs would be slim given the makeup of the roster, and while he of course hopes Jackson will be able to transform the team into a winner sooner rather than later, Anthony chose to re-sign in New York due to a combination of money and market — which far outweighed his desire to play for a contender in the immediate future.