CLEVELAND — An uneventful trade deadline led to Carmelo Anthony scratching his head, and should lead to another busy offseason for the Knicks.
As the 3 p.m. deadline struck yesterday, Anthony and Derrick Rose remained Knicks and Ricky Rubio stayed in Minnesota.
Despite more than five weeks of speculation and trade rumors involving the 10-time All-Star, Anthony wasn’t expected to go anywhere. Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, didn’t think he’d be going anywhere either, but he sounded as if he expected the Knicks to do something. And he said he’s not sure about the vision president Phil Jackson and the Knicks’ front office have for the team.
“Not now. To be honest with you, no,” Anthony said. “I think they were kind of planning on a trade on the trade deadline. Whether they were trying to make moves, I think that was one plan. So now it’s they’ve got to get back to the drawing board and come up with another plan about the future of this team.”
Rose’s name was involved in trade discussions with the Timberwolves for Rubio. No agreement was reached, though, so instead of reuniting with his former Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau, in Minnesota, Rose will finish out the season in a Knicks uniform. “It’s always a relief not getting traded,” he said. “I’m happy that it’s over.”
Rose will be a free agent this summer, and the fact that the Knicks were pushing to move him indicates they probably aren’t planning to re-sign him.
Rose, who excels in the pick-and-roll, has been critical of the Knicks’ offense, which features aspects of the triangle — and he again criticized it yesterday. He said he’s “always in the corner” and he gets all of his “points off of random baskets.”
According to multiple reports, Jackson wanted more than Rubio for Rose, a former NBA MVP. Power forward Nemanja Bjelica reportedly was on the Knicks’ radar, but Minnesota didn’t want to deal him. Another report said that at the end, the Knicks were willing to do Rubio-for-Rose straight up, but the Timberwolves declined.
Coach Jeff Hornacek said he got a text from Jackson right at the deadline that said, “We’re sticking with what we have.”
“It’s kind of what we thought,” Hornacek said. “We didn’t think anything was going to happen.”
The Knicks and Timberwolves could try to revisit talks this summer on a sign-and-trade with Rose. Rubio has two more years on his contract.
Anthony also has two years left, along with that no-trade clause that allows him to veto any deal. In the days leading up to the trade deadline, he said he expected to be with the Knicks for the rest of the season and that team officials hadn’t approached him to say they had anything brewing.
The Cavaliers and Clippers could pursue Anthony in the offseason, especially if neither hoists the NBA championship trophy in June.
Anthony, who has been reluctant to leave New York, could be more apt to go after he turns 33 and with the Knicks potentially looking at another rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez.
Unless the Knicks (23-35) make a surprising playoff run in the last 24 games, they will be in the draft lottery. They own their pick in what is expected to be a deep and point guard-heavy draft in which five are projected to go in the top 10.
The Knicks need stability, especially at that position. In the three offseasons since Jackson became team president, the Knicks have added eight, nine and 10 new players, respectively.
Anthony, who has had a falling out with Jackson, reiterated that management knows what he would like to see happen. He wouldn’t go any further than that.
“I don’t want to get into details about that, on the inside of the meetings and all that,” he said. “But I will continue to say that they have an idea of kind of what I’m thinking and where my mind is at.”
Anthony said he’s not stressing over his relationship with Jackson and that he’s “at peace with myself” and overall because he doesn’t have to face any trade rumors or questions about being dealt for the time being. But he said he is frustrated that he’s not sure of Jackson’s plan and his place in it.
“Yeah, I mean, nobody likes to be in limbo,” Anthony said. “We all want to know kind of what’s going on, especially when it’s involving you. But that’s not the way it is in sports. I don’t think I’m the only one that’s going through that or feeling that way.
“I think there’s other players who feel the same way, that they want to be involved — not involved, but at least up to date with what’s going on. I feel like I’m kind of up to date as far as when it comes to me what’s going on.”