Carmelo Anthony revealed that trades that would have sent him to Cleveland and Houston were “done” but he said they fell through. Anthony was ultimately traded to Oklahoma City.
During an interview Wednesday night with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Anthony said there was a trade in place that would have sent him to Cleveland on draft night along with Paul George in a massive blockbuster that “got called off.”
The particulars of the deal with Cleveland were unclear. But there were reports of a five-team trade involving the Knicks, Cavaliers, Pacers, Suns and Nuggets. The Cavaliers were close to acquiring George in another deal, but the Pacers backed out.
Anthony said he and George were talking during that time about teaming up in Cleveland. They ended up together with the Thunder.
“Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night,” Anthony said. “We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the season. We never even talked about OKC though.”
Anthony also said the Knicks had a trade with Houston that fell apart as well.
The Knicks and Rockets discussed several parameters on an Anthony deal and tried including a third and fourth team. They were believed to be close to consummating a deal. But when the Knicks hired Scott Perry as general manager, they regrouped. The snag was no team, including the Knicks, was willing to take back forward Ryan Anderson’s contract. He has three years and $60 million remaining.
“A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason whatever happened behind the scenes it didn’t go through,” Anthony said. “It fell through.”
Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, said he expanded his list of teams that he would accept a trade to “within the last week, week and a half.” Houston was his preferred destination, but he added Cleveland and Oklahoma City.
The Knicks sent Anthony to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second-round pick.
According to Anthony, he was prepared to start training camp with the Knicks before Oklahoma City became an option. The deal was struck last Saturday and made official Monday. Anthony believed it was the best thing for him and the Knicks to open training camp with a fresh start.
“We had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options,” Anthony said. “Believe it or not I felt like I was going to be back in training camp and I would show up to media day in New York.
“Me and my team sat down [last] Friday night and was like, ‘Man, we best prepare for going back to media day on Monday and training camp that week.’ And then we got the call that said, ‘Would you open it up to OKC?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, at this point, yeah.’
“I don’t think it would have been beneficial for me to come back to media day after everything that was going on in the offseason. For me to have to deal with that it would have been unfair for the organization, the Knicks, to have to deal with that. It would have been too much noise, too many questions to answer and I don’t think either party wanted to deal with that.”
Anthony, whose relationship with former Knicks president Phil Jackson took a toll on him, said he needed a change.
“I have a newfound energy within myself,” Anthony said. “My motivation is just different now. I kind of lost that motivation a little bit in New York. But I was still able to go out there and play and get through it . . . Now I just feel refreshed, I feel relieved.”