The New York Knicks have decided to take a step back from trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony, which has led some to believe that they are thinking about keeping the 33-year-old superstar. According to one report, however, the team is hoping Carmelo will make himself easier to deal.
A source told Marc Berman of the New York Postthat the Knicks are hoping Anthony “decides to open up his wish list” and would be willing to accept a trade to teams other than just the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks are on the verge of hiring a new general manager in former Sacramento Kings executive Scott Perry, so it makes sense that Perry wants to meet with Anthony to discuss the future. ESPN reports that Carmelo was “eager” to waive his no-trade clause for either the Cavs or Rockets, but the Knicks are open to keeping him around if he is willing to rebuild with Kristaps Porzingis and their young core.
As Berman notes, Anthony will likely opt out of his contract next offseason. New York’s primary goal in trading him would be to gain salary cap relief and/or draft capital. If there is no trade scenario that will allow them to do that, they may be better off just waiting until he frees cap space for them by opting out next summer.
Two teams aside from the Cavs and Rockets that have reportedly expressed interest in Anthony are the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans, but it is unclear if Carmelo would waive his no-trade clause for either team. It’s also no guarantee that those teams would be willing to offer a package that would entice the Knicks.
Anthony has made it clear that he likes playing and living in New York. He wants to remain close to his 10-year-old son, whom he shares with his wife La La. Carmelo and La La are currently separated amid some pretty disturbing cheating rumors.
Unless he is being sent to a contender, Anthony is not going to waive his no-trade clause. Neither the Rockets nor the Cavs have enough to offer the Knicks without getting a third team involved, which greatly complicates things. Carmelo leaving New York this offseason is far from a foregone conclusion.