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Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony-for-Kevin Love deal turned down by Cavs, report says

LeBron James controls the ball in the first

LeBron James controls the ball in the first quarter against Carmelo Anthony at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Credit: Jim McIsaac

DALLAS — Carmelo Anthony didn’t know all the details about LeBron James sounding off that the Cavaliers need to improve their personnel and get another playmaker. But that didn’t stop Anthony from saying James wants to join forces with him.

But the Cavaliers may not want Anthony.

According to ESPN, the Knicks tried to engage the Cavaliers in a swap of Anthony for Kevin Love but Cleveland turned them down.

Anthony would have to approve any deal anyway because he has a no-trade clause in his contract. He maintains he’s focused only on the Knicks now.

“I really don’t have a reaction to it,” Anthony said. “Until management comes to me and says something, then it’s not something to look forward to or feed into it at this point. I really don’t have a reaction to it.”

Last week, Anthony told Newsday that if management came to him and said “they want to go in a different direction, they want to start rebuilding for the future” that he would “have to consider” waiving the no-trade.

“If they want to go in a different direction, that’s something I have to consider,” Anthony said last night. “I would have to consider that. All the talk that’s going on right now, it’s out of my control. Nobody called me, nobody got in contact with my representation or anything like that. It’s not something I’m worrying about. I’m not thinking about that right now. “

Anthony made it clear that he hasn’t had any contact with the Knicks’ front office since his meeting with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills last week. He said “none” three times when asked if they talked.

In the meeting, Anthony told them he wants to remain with the Knicks. It didn’t sound as if he got the sense that they wanted him to stay. “It was a quick meeting,” Anthony said. “That’s all I can say.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if the struggling Knicks (20-27) tried to deal Anthony before the Feb. 23 deadline. But it would be difficult to pull off a trade since he has a 15 percent trade-kicker in his contract.

On Monday, James put pressure on Cavs management to make moves to upgrade the roster in an expletive-laced interview after a string of losses, including to the West’s top two teams, the Warriors and Spurs.

A popular belief is James was talking indirectly about Anthony, and that he wants the reigning NBA champs to bring in his good friend. Anthony didn’t do anything to dissuade that.

“You ask me a question do I think he would want me to play with him? Yes,” Anthony said. “I do think he would want me to play with him. I don’t think he wouldn’t. But I don’t know if that comment is about me. I don’t think I’m the only playmaker in the NBA.”

Anthony said he hasn’t spoken to James recently and he’s not considering playing in Cleveland. “I don’t think about it,” he said. “It’s not something I think about right now, as far as me going to play with him. I can’t think about that right now.”

But James said something that definitely could ring true with Anthony, and eventually lead him to waive his no-trade. James said he’s going to be 33 next winter, “and I ain’t got no time to waste.” James has won three rings. Anthony will be 33 in May and hasn’t been to the playoffs the past three years.

“I don’t think anybody wants to wait, to be honest with you,” Anthony said. “I’m in a different situation than him. He’s won, he’s just coming off a championship, so for him to say he’ll be 33 and he don’t have time to wait, he might have a different type of plan, a different goal, a different mindset of winning now and taking advantage of it.”

Anthony said he wouldn’t be “satisfied” if he didn’t win a championship before his career ended, but he also said he’s not ready to chase one yet.

“I don’t think it would be called chasing a ring,” Anthony said. “It would be looking at opportunities and situations if and when that time does come.’’

Anthony said the meeting with the front office didn’t get that in depth. He said they did most of the talking, and disputed an initial report that it was contentious. “No, not at all,” he said. “It definitely wasn’t heated. I know it wasn’t me who said it was heated or contentious.’’

Anthony still wouldn’t give too many specifics about the meeting. “We was talking about the triangle,” he said. “No, I’m just kidding.”

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