With recent NBA trade rumors, no player has been more mentioned than the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony. The former All-Star may have a no-trade clause in his current contract, but there have still been persistent rumors that Melo might be looking to get out of NYC. There have also been rumors of Knicks president Phil Jackson potentially wanting to rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis, rather than Carmelo Anthony, which could cause the Knicks to force Melo out. That has brought about multiple teams interested in bringing Anthony over to their squads to help compete with the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Celtics, Clippers, and Cavs were reportedly among the teams that may have been involved in trade talks, one team not as mentioned is the Oklahoma City Thunder. An article from Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report on Friday, it’s noted that FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico mentioned on Twitter that the Thunder had some interest in the potential pairing of Carmelo Anthony along with Russell Westbrook in OKC.
Would Carmelo Anthony accept trade to play next to Westbrook? #Thunder know possible pairing a long shot, but idea intrigues them, I'm told.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) January 27, 2017
Bringing Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City would create a “Big Two” of sorts for the Thunder with two of the NBA’s top scorers over the past several seasons. However, both players have also earned a reputation for not wanting to share the ball so much. One can contend that Westbrook certainly is sharing the ball often enough in his latest season, as his triple-double average includes at least 10 assists per contest. It could also be argued that even these two players described as selfish on the court might put aside their differences in pursuit of a championship.
While there are several teams that have seemed to be interested in bringing Melo to their roster, one of his former New York Knicks teammates doesn’t believe Carmelo will leave before his contract is up. Al Harrington played with the both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks alongside Melo. He recently spoke to New York Post regarding the NBA trade rumors involving his former teammate.
Harrington mentioned he feels Anthony is going to keep going with his current team.
“The fact he loves New York so much, I think he probably stays for the rest of his contract. I know he doesn’t want to leave. I know what New York means to him and I don’t see him giving up on it.”
The former NBA power forward, who will now star in a new Champions Basketball League also mentioned how Anthony was as a teammate.
“I was there as a teammate and he never made us feel he didn’t want to be with us. We were in a foxhole together but the media did their job stirring s–t up. But I know what New York means to him and I don’t see him giving up on it.”
Carmelo has now been in New York since he forced his previous team, the Denver Nuggets, to trade him over to the Knicks. In July of 2014, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that Carmelo had chosen to return to the Knicks, signing a lucrative NBA contract. At the time, Melo signed a five-year deal worth over $120 million to continue with the team, making him a free agent in 2019. He also has that tricky “no-trade” clause built into the current contract that only Anthony can waive for a move to be made.
While his current team is on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture right now, one of the top eight spots is not too far out of their reach. In last night’s action, Anthony scored 18 points as he and the Knicks took down the Charlotte Hornets 110-107. The victory moved New York to 21-17 overall and third in the Atlantic Division.
Following the Knicks’ win, Anthony was asked if he and his teammates are trying to convince management to keep the current roster together. Anthony spoke about the true motivation that he and his teammates have for winning right now.
“I don’t think we’re playing out there to be convincing. I think we understand what’s at stake right now, and that’s having an opportunity to creep back up there in one of those top eight spots.”
As NBC Sports noted, Melo also told reporters it’s “mentally draining” and “mentally fatiguing” as he tries to play through all the trade rumors and drama going on with his NBA career right now. It’s clear that for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks the February 23rd trade deadline can’t arrive soon enough.
NBA fans, do you believe Melo will continue to play in New York until his contract is up? Would Carmelo and Russell Westbrook be able to play together efficiently for the Oklahoma City Thunder?
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]