Phil Jackson continues to try to find a new home for Carmelo Anthony.
Yahoo reported Thursday that in addition to the Cavaliers, the Knicks reached out to the Clippers and Celtics to gauge their interest in Anthony.
ESPN reported that the Celtics informed the Knicks that they are not interested in trading for Anthony.
Anthony said Wednesday that he had had no contact with the Knicks’ front office in more than a week.
The trade deadline is Feb. 23, and Jackson, the team president, appears determined to try to move on from Anthony and build the Knicks around Kristaps Porzingis.
Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract. For the second time in a week, he said he would have to “consider” waiving it if the Knicks’ front office wants “to go in a different direction.”
Anthony, however, said he won’t talk to management about the Knicks’ plans.
“For what?” Anthony said Wednesday night after the loss in Dallas. “I don’t think I have to initiate another conversation. If it’s something they’re looking at, I’m pretty sure they would come to me and talk to me about it. But it’s not something we’re discussing at this point.”
Anthony will make $24.6 million this season. His contract also has a 15-percent trade kicker for roughly $9.9 million, split between this season and next. It will be very difficult to move him, but not impossible.
It makes sense for the Knicks to contact the Cavaliers and Clippers. Anthony’s closest friends in the NBA are the Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Clippers’ Chris Paul. Also, both teams might need additional scoring options to get past the Warriors or Spurs in the playoffs or NBA Finals.
A trade with the Clippers could include former Knick Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers, coach Doc Rivers’ son. The Cavaliers reportedly have no interest in an Anthony-for-Kevin Love swap, but they could try other permutations or add a third team.
The biggest obstacle could be getting Anthony to waive the no-trade clause. He also might not want to lose a power struggle with Jackson, but he could be wearing down.
Anthony met with Jackson and general manager Steve Mills Jan. 17 and told them he wanted to remain with the Knicks.
This meeting was precipitated by Jackson confidant Charley Rosen’s blistering column that said “Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York.” Anthony believed that was Jackson’s opinion.
A reporter asked Anthony on Wednesday night if he felt the Knicks were “passive-aggressively” trying to force him out.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I honestly don’t know. That’s something that’s out of my control.”
Anthony said he’s focusing on what he can control: trying to help the Knicks win games as long as he’s wearing their uniform.
He said he has conferred with his teammates individually and that they’ve met as a group to discuss not letting talk about his future or any other outside noise seep into the Knicks’ locker room.
“We won’t lose games because we’re thinking about something that’s happening off the court,” Anthony said.
The Knicks’ loss in Dallas on Wednesday night was the team’s 14th in 18 games. Players are wondering if there will be changes to the roster.
“You hear a lot of rumors, so I guess we’ll see,” Brandon Jennings said.
The Knicks are a team that’s out of sync and frustrated about Jeff Hornacek’s ever-changing rotations. Their defense remains a big problem, and the offense also sputtered late in Dallas. This is why there could be changes beyond anything they potentially do with Anthony.
Derrick Rose attributes every loss to defense, and he did so again Wednesday night. But he also said the Knicks are not playing together or for each other.
Rose went AWOL on a game day recently, flying home to Chicago for “a personal issue” without contacting anyone.
“It takes everybody being on the same page, everybody putting in the work and dedicating themselves to the team,” Rose said.
He was asked if the Knicks were doing any of the things he mentioned.
“I mean, 14 of 18,” Rose said. “The record speaks for itself.”