The New York Knicks made some major moves in the offseason in an attempt to put themselves in a position to become a playoff team in 2017. Team president Phil Jackson made a trade for point guard Derrick Rose, signed free agent center Joakim Noah, and brought in shooting guard Courtney Lee to team with existing stars Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.
Unfortunately, the results haven’t been positive to this point in the 2016-17 NBA Season. The Knicks currently sit with a 20-27 record and hold the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference, three games behind the Chicago Bulls for the No. 8 seed.
With things spiraling downwards, there have been a number of rumblings surrounding the team in recent weeks, including the availability of Anthony on the trade market.
In the past, Carmelo has repeatedly said that he has no interest in waiving his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a deal, but his stance has softened in recent weeks as the rumors have begun to heat up. According to CBS Sports, Anthony told Jackson in a meeting on January 17 that he would waive his no-trade clause if New York made the decision to begin rebuilding.
“I think it will be more on the front office,” Anthony said. “I have the power, but still I would talk to them. We would be in communication if they feel like they want to go in a different direction, they want to start rebuilding for the future. If they tell me they want to scrap this whole thing, yeah, I have to consider it.”
In order to begin a rebuild, the Knicks would have to be able to deal Carmelo Anthony as he’s the biggest trade chip on the roster and has the largest contract. It would make no sense to start dealing pieces like Rose, Noah, or Lee without first agreeing to a deal to send Carmelo elsewhere.
Earlier this week, rumors began to circulate that the New York Knicks had contacted the Cleveland Cavaliers about a potential Anthony for Kevin Love deal, but the Cavaliers reportedly balked at the offer despite LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony being best friends, and James having said in the past that he’d love to play with Carmelo before he retires.
Knicks reportedly offer Carmelo Anthony-for-Kevin Love but Cavs are not interested. What could’ve been… pic.twitter.com/wskhh61Qz5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 25, 2017
Now, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Knicks have also reached out to the the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics about a potential deal involving Anthony.
Knicks have reportedly reached out to Celtics and Clippers about a trade for Carmelo Anthony. pic.twitter.com/mNEN50Jmk9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 26, 2017
The Celtics have been in search of a superstar for the past year or so, but have yet to find the right fit. General manager Danny Ainge was able to secure a meeting with free agent Kevin Durant this past summer, but the former Oklahoma City Thunder star ended up signing with the Golden State Warriors.
Boston is loaded with draft picks and young stars such as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Avery Bradley who could be used as trade bait in a deal for Carmelo Anthony. With Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas already in tow, the Celtics could put together a big three that rivals the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
Charley Rosen of FanRag Sports had already reported recently that the Clippers were a team that would interest Carmelo as a potential trade destination. Even more interesting, the deal would reportedly not involve any of Los Angeles’ big three in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or DeAndre Jordan, but would instead be centered around Austin Rivers.
In any trade with the Clippers, Austin Rivers would be involved. Knicks like Rivers and met with him over summer during free agency.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 26, 2017
With only a few weeks remaining until the NBA Trade Deadline, it’ll be interesting to see where Carmelo Anthony ends up.
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]