The New York Knicks seem hellbent on finding a taker for Carmelo Anthony, but the Boston Celtics will not be a destination, according to ESPN.
Citing a source, ESPN says Boston informed New York that it doesn't have an interest in Anthony. While the two sides had preliminary talks about a trade last season, that is not the case this time.
Anthony, 32, has seen his name connected to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Celtics in recent days. The Cavaliers reportedly rejected a trade for Anthony that included fellow All-Star Kevin Love, per ESPN. Following a 103-95 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Anthony spoke to reporters about the proposed trade talks.
"I really don't have a reaction to it," Anthony said, according to ESPN. "I mean, until management comes to me and says something, it's not something I can look forward to or feed into at this point."
The Knicks play on Friday against the Charlotte Hornets at home with a 20-27 record, three games behind the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. After a strong 14-10 start, and third place in the conference, the Knicks have gone 6-17 since December 13, and things seem to be getting worse.
Offseason acquisitions Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons; Rose went AWOL prior to the Knicks' January 9 contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, and Noah has struggled on the court after signing a four-year, $72 million deal.
While Kristaps Porzingis continues his solid play, an Achilles injury forced him to miss several games in recent weeks. Despite constantly reiterating his desire to finish out his existing contract (two years, $54 million following 2016-17) in New York and win a title with the Knicks, Anthony has shown a willingness to waive his no-trade clause.
"If they want to go in a different direction, that's something I have to consider," Anthony said via the New York Daily News. "I think I would have to consider that. All the talk that's going on, that's out of my control. Nobody contacted me, nobody contacted my representation or anything like that. So it's something that I'm not worried about."
In 46 games this season, Anthony is averaging 22.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 33.6 minutes per game. Despite the solid numbers, Anthony was not selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the first time in seven seasons.
.@carmeloanthony on All-Star voting, playing the 3 and/or 4, & more. #NYKvsIND #Knicks pic.twitter.com/TQt8o6G17vPhil Jackson made inflammatory remarks about Anthony's offensive tendencies in December, and longtime Jackson confidant Charlie Rosen slammed Anthony in an editorial for FanRag Sports, writing that the nine-time All-Star has "outlived his usefulness."
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 23, 2017
"I don't know. I honestly don't know," Anthony has said about whether or not the Knicks brass is trying to push him out of New York.
Former Knicks forward and Anthony's Denver Nuggets teammate, Al Harrington, recently told Marc Berman of the New York Post that he believes Anthony will finish out his contract with the Knicks.
"The fact he loves New York so much, I think he probably stays for the rest of his contract,'' Harrington said. "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.''
However, the Knicks seem willing to trade Anthony and not receive maximum value in return. A source told the Daily News that the Knicks would trade Anthony to the Clippers without asking for Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or DeAndre Jordan in return.
Factoring in Anthony's age, remaining contract, and the 15 percent trade kicker that would inflate his salary north of $28 million, the Knicks will have a hard task finding a taker and receiving equal value in return.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]